Trump to honour Synagogue shooting victims as first funerals are held


Trump had initially called for unity in the face of Saturday's assault on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, in a week in which prominent Democrats were the targets of pipe bombs sent through the mail, allegedly by a Trump supporter in Florida.

Trump and his wife are due to arrive in Pittsburgh and stay about four hours.

"How do we tell our children in a time when hate seems to be escalating", said Rabbi Susan Talve.

The top four United States congressional leaders - Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer, Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi - declined to join Trump in Pittsburgh, a source familiar with the planning said.

Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered in Squirrel Hill for two different protests in opposition to Trump's visit.

Some attendees blamed the shooting on the nation's political climate, and said they took little solace in the planned visit to Pittsburgh by U.S. President Donald Trump. It is apparent at least eight souls lost their lives in a shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue. "The very first thing the media did was blame the president and make him responsible for these ridiculous acts", she said.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are in Pittsburgh Tuesday to honor the victims of Saturday's shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue.

It was the worst attack on Jews in the nation's history.

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The White House said Trump was coming to "express the support of the American people and to grieve with the Pittsburgh community".

Yesterday, Lynette Lederman, a former president of the synagogue where the shooting took place, let Trump know that he's not welcome, on cable news where he's most likely to see it.

At a makeshift memorial of Jewish stars outside the synagogue, the Trumps are placing lay white roses and a stone from the White House for each of the dead.

It is an uneasy visit for the president.

Peduto's spokesman said the mayor's "sole focus" is on the funerals for victims and supporting their families. The president said he will personally travel to Pittsburgh to commemorate the victims.

"He adores Jewish Americans as part of his own family", an emotional White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said during Monday's press briefing.

The visit has met with criticism in the city, with some local leaders and residents questioning the motive and timing.