The president’s response to the horrifying massacre of eleven elderly Jewish people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend has left a foul taste in everyone’s mouths — especially the families of the victims.
The family of victim Daniel Stein, 71, told the Washington Post that they had rejected a condolence meeting with the President over his callous victim-shaming remarks.
“Everybody feels that they were inappropriate. He was blaming the community…A church, a synagogue, should not be a fortress. It should be an open, welcoming place to feel safe,” said Stephen Halle, the late Stein’s nephew.
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Showing his trademark lack of tack and just reeking of insincerity, the president blamed the lack of an armed guard at the synagogue for the deaths, criticizing the synagogue and its caretakers for not wanting to bring weapons of violence into a holy building.
He didn’t mention that it took an entire squad of armored police officers, four of whom were injured, to respond to the AR-15 assault rifle-wielding neo-Nazi, who surrendered and turned himself in.
But of course “more guns” is the only avenue of response he has left to him, because anything else would require him to acknowledge the role that he personally has played in stirring up anti-Semitic energy with his constant promotion of anti-Semitic, racist conspiracy theories and constant blowing of dog-whistles to his white supremacist supporters.
And it’s not just Stein’s family who are upset with Trump.
Over 70,000 Pittsburgh residents have signed a petition demanding President Trump stay away from the city until he denounces white nationalism. The president and his wife are scheduled to visit Pittsburgh on the day of the funerals for a photo-op even though the mayor has asked him to come on a different day. Apparently, Trump is even lying to state and city officials to enable his trip, per Howard Fineman of NBC.
Further: @realDonaldTrump WH called the top #PA and #Pittsburgh officials one at a time and lied to each that the others had agreed. WH did the same to #Schumer and #Pelosi. No one bit. WH also trying to push #Trump into hospital rooms of victims but most want no part of him.
— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) October 30, 2018
Stein’s family has every right to reject their visit with Trump, and all the families of the victims should do the same until Donald Trump publicly disavows himself of the white nationalist label that he’s given himself and all of his torch-waving white supremacist supporters.