Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has declined an offer from the White House to meet with President Donald Trump as he visits the city on Tuesday in the wake of the weekend shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue, with a spokesman saying he'll be busy instead attending funerals and supporting the victims' families.
“His sole focus is on the funerals,” McNulty told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The city’s sole focus is on supporting the families.”
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are heading to Pittsburgh to visit UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where two of the police officers and two worshippers are being treated after being shot at the Squirrel Hill church.
Robert Bowers, the accused gunman, was shot and injured by police, but appeared in federal court on Monday.
Peduto, a Democrat, said on Monday Trump should hold off on his visit until after the 11 victims' funerals have been held, as the city does not have enough public safety personnel to cover both the funeral services and a presidential visit at the same time.
Further, he said the White House should ask the victims' families for permission before visiting.
Four of the victims' funerals are set for Tuesday, with others planned for throughout the week.
The Trumps are scheduled to arrive shortly before 4 p.m.
Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers initially said said he'd welcome a visit from Trump, but on Tuesday told CNN that he would not be meet with Trump. He also decried political rhetoric, calling on political leaders to "tone down the hate" and "speak words of love, speak words of decency, and of respect."
Mark Hetfield, president and director of the Hebrew Immigrant Assistance Society, said the president should not come to town because of remarks he'd made after the shootings.
“(He) mentioned anti-Semitism multiple times, which was important, but he did not mention that this murderer attacked this synagogue because these were Jews helping refugees,” said Hetfield. “That part he didn’t mention, and that’s very important.”
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.