Trump, ‘purveyor of hate speech’, not welcome in Pittsburgh, says former synagogue leader

From The Guardian UK:

Lynette Lederman says she does not want the president to visit Pittsburgh and will rely on local political leadership

Mon 29 Oct 2018

A former president of the synagogue in Pittsburgh where 11 people were murdered on Saturday has said Donald Trump would not be welcome in the city and labelled the president a “purveyor of hate speech”.

Lynette Lederman, of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, told CNN on Monday she would rely on local political leadership in the aftermath of the mass shooting and did not want the president to visit the city.

“We have people who stand by us, who believe in values – not just Jewish – but believe in values, and those are not the values of this president and I do not welcome him to Pittsburgh,” she said.

The comments followed an open letter signed by a coalition of local Jewish leaders and published by the Pittsburgh chapter of Bend The Arc, a progressive advocacy group, that also called for the president to avoid the city.

“President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism,” the letter states.

Trump, who labelled the shooting an “evil antisemitic attack”, is set to visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the White House confirmed on Monday afternoon.

As the administration continues to face criticism over the president’s polarizing rhetoric in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh shooting and a series of attempted bombings against prominent Democrats and critics of Trump last week, Trump used Twitter again on Monday morning to label the media as “the true Enemy of the People”.

“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,” Trump tweeted, shortly after Lederman spoke to CNN.

The 11 victims of the shooting were named as suspected gunman Robert Bowers was charged with 29 federal crimes, including 11 counts of murdering victims exercising their religious beliefs. The shooter, who traded gunfire with law enforcement officers during the massacre, was released from hospital on Monday and is expected in court later in the day .

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