(CNSNews.com) – President Trump met Tuesday with the police officers who were wounded in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting as well as the widow of a synagogue member, who welcomed the president with open arms and wanted the president to know that people wanted him there.
During a gaggle on board Air Force One en route to Washington, D.C., Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Trump’s visit.
Trump and the first lady Melania Trump met with Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who has been outspoken about his support for the president. They lit 11 candles Yahrzeit candles – one for each of the 11 people who were killed when a gunman opened fire during a Jewish baby naming ceremony at the synagogue last Saturday.
“The rabbi walked through the history of the church, and walked the president and the first lady through a lot of the detail of what happened on the day. He talked about the bravery -- the rabbi talked a lot about the bravery of the law enforcement. The president was incredibly impressed by the rabbi -- absolutely incredible man. The president was very moved by the visit and the time with the rabbi. He called it ‘very humbling and very sad,’” Sanders said.
From there, the president stopped by UPMC Presbyterian hospital to visit with wounded law enforcement.
“In the first room that he came to, he met with the three members of the law enforcement who had been discharged, and a number of the members of the medical staff, the doctors, and nurses who treated the individuals as they came in,” Sanders said. The police officers’ families were there as well.
“From there, he went to the ICU to one of the first responders who had been shot seven times. He was there with his family,” she said. “The president was incredibly moved by the man in ICU, and also how supportive all of the law enforcement members were of one another.”
Afterwards, Trump met with Peg Gottfried, the widow of Dr. Richard Gottfried, a member of the congregation who died in the shooting.
“She said that she wanted to meet the President to let him know that people wanted him there, and again, he spent about an hour talking with her,” Sanders said.
Trump was also moved by the compassion shown by Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), who was with the president at the hospital. Trump said it was “a great honor to be in Pittsburgh with the first lady, to be with such incredible people who had shown such bravery.”
When asked why Trump didn’t speak out directly on Tuesday with a message of combating anti-Semitism or hate or any acts of violence, Sander said the president wanted the visit to Pittsburgh to be “about showing respect for the families and the friends of the victims, as well as for Jewish Americans.” Also, Trump has already “been very clear” and spoken out “a number of times” on the issue, she said.