It’s official. Nobody in Pittsburgh wants to be within a five hundred foot radius of Donald Trump.
A rabbi from Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue said he won’t meet with President Donald Trump who is heading to the city Tuesday in the wake of the massacre at the house of worship this weekend.
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers — who escaped the gunfire that killed 11 on Saturday morning — at first said the president was welcome, but since he made that statement, he “received a lot of email… [from people who] are not happy with those words,” Myers told CNN Tuesday.
Trump is still putatively scheduled to meet some survivors of the shooting at a hospital. But Rabbi Myers’ change of heart pulls the rug out from any of Trump’s remaining hopes of making this a politically useful photo op. This is now a collective shunning, borne of revulsion, and one which is unprecedented in modern political history.
PITTSBURGH — A mourning family doesn’t want to meet him. Leaders of his own party declined to join him. The mayor has explicitly asked him not to come. And yet President Trump plans to visit this grief-stricken city Tuesday, amid accusations that he and his administration continue to fuel the anti-Semitism that inspired Saturday’s massacre inside a synagogue.
Trump’s contrived overtures were nothing short of offensive to this mourning community:
Trump offered to visit with the family of Daniel Stein, a 71-year-old who had just become a grandfather when he was gunned down at Tree of Life. Stein’s nephew, Stephen Halle, said the family declined in part because of the comments Trump made in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, when he suggested the synagogue should have had an armed guard.
“Everybody feels that they were inappropriate,” Halle said Tuesday. “He was blaming the community.”
So Trump is going to have to contend with publicly meeting “law enforcement,” and shaking hands with a few police officers, most of whom probably don’t want to be anywhere near him either, but fear risking their jobs and pensions. Then, unable to contain himself, he’ll most likely say something idiotic and offensive before he leaves.
No American President has ever been given the thoroughly cold shoulder like this because no American President has spewed the type of rhetoric that allowed such a tragedy to occur. No one wants to meet him because no one trusts his motives. He’s already shown these people what he is. They don’t need to know any more.
Update: Per local reports Trump is now at the synagogue. While Rabbi Myers is there as well it appears to be in his capacity of attending to the funeral.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.