Trump calls Pitts­burgh at­tack ‘evil’ anti-Semitism

The Progress-Index Weekend - - OBITUARIES - By Cather­ine Lucey

IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Sat­ur­day con­demned the “wicked act of mass mur­der” at a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue, say­ing an­tiSemitism “must be con­fronted any­where and ev­ery­where it ap­pears” and spec­u­lat­ing that the death toll would have been curbed if an armed guard had been in the build­ing.

With both the num­ber of deaths and de­tails of the syn­a­gogue’s se­cu­rity still to be dis­closed, Trump said gun con­trol “has lit­tle to do with it” but “if they had pro­tec­tion in­side, the re­sults would have been far bet­ter.”

Trump of­fered an un­spar­ing de­nun­ci­a­tion of anti-Semitism, which he said was the mo­tive be­hind the at­tack, in con­trast to re­marks af­ter clashes be­tween white su­prem­a­cists and counter-pro­test­ers in Char­lottesville last year. Then, he only in­flamed ten­sions by blam­ing both sides for the vi­o­lence.

Speak­ing to young farm­ers in In­di­anapo­lis, Trump called the at­tack at a baby-nam­ing cer­e­mony “pure evil, hard to be­lieve and frankly some­thing that is unimag­in­able.”

Af­ter call­ing on the coun­try to come to­gether, Trump in­vited a pas­tor and rabbi on stage to pray.

He said he would con­tinue with plans to hold a po­lit­i­cal rally in Illi­nois later in the day, ar­gu­ing that “we can’t let evil change our life and change our sched­ule.”

Less than two weeks be­fore elec­tions for con­trol of Congress, the shoot­ing fol­lowed a tense week dom­i­nated by a mail bomb plot with ap­par­ent po­lit­i­cal mo­ti­va­tions and served as an­other toxic re­minder of a di­vided na­tion.

“A lot of peo­ple killed,” Trump said upon his ar­rival in In­di­ana.

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