Pittsburgh shooting: White House denies Trump rhetoric to blame

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: Brothers and married couple among 11 victims

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will visit Pennsylvania on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of last week's mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue, the White House announced Monday, even as the mayor of Pittsburgh publicly requested that the trip be postponed until after the funerals.

However, Jeffrey Myers, a Tree of Life rabbi who was in the synagogue when the heavily armed gunman burst in on worshippers, said Trump would be welcome if he visited.

"Jonathan, the very first thing that the president did was condemn the attacks both in Pittsburgh and in the pipe bombs".

Mr Trump has condemned the shooting, saying there ought to be no tolerance for anti-Semitism.

But not everyone wants the president here, including two Jewish groups that have addressed a letter to him and circulated an online petition with this message: "It is extremely disrespectful, and you are not welcome", said Ella Mason with If Not Now PGH.

"If the president is looking to come to Pittsburgh I would ask that he not do so while we are burying the dead", Peduto told local reporters.

Trump said Saturday after the shooting that there is no need for stricter gun laws, instead telling reporters before traveling to a campaign rally in IL that he believes the religious facility should have had armed guards.

But when Acosta pressed Sanders for a list of media outlets that were considered to be "the enemy", Sanders refused.

If the president still decides to visit Pittsburgh without meeting the letter's demands, Friedman said he expects Trump will "only be met with derision".

"I think it's irresponsible to blame the president and members of his administration for those heinous acts". "The president is not responsible for these acts", Sanders said.

Last week, as packages with explosives were sent to top Democrats, some conservative commentators on USA radio and television shows suggested it was a "false flag" operation being carried out by left-wing opponents of Trump looking to gain a political advantage before next week's national congressional elections.

The mail bomb attacks and the bloodshed in Pittsburgh set off debate over whether the corrosive political rhetoric in Washington and beyond contributed to the violence and whether Trump himself bears any blame.

A gunman who expressed hatred of Jews exploited a vulnerability common in so many houses of worship across the country - doors that are unlocked for worship - to target a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Cooperman said she was surprised and gladdened by the outpouring of solidarity.

The president's latest tweetstorm began Sunday night, when he accused media outlets of being oblivious to the consequences of what he called "fake and dishonest reporting".

"Would that include my outlet, which received a bomb last week?"

Sanders rejected the notion Trump has blamed the media for recent violence.

"I think the president has had a number of moments of bringing the country together", she said.

And whatever elected officials show up, they should be there to mourn with them, not to create a political event.

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