US President Donald Trump has been under protest by protesters of the Synagogue in Pittsburgh paid a visit that became the target of a deadly attack on Saturday. During his condolence visit, his wife Melania accompanied him as well as his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, who are both of Jewish Orthodox faith.
More than a thousand people had gathered for a protest near the Tree of Life Synagogue. Participants accused Trump of courting the far-right scene. On banners held up by some of them, phrases like "Trump, swear off white nationalism!" or "Trump: kill lies". Critics accuse Trump of being responsible for acts of violence like these with his harsh rhetoric.
Shortly after the attack, which killed 11 people and injured six, Jewish officials in Pittsburgh said they had refused to visit the President. "President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully condemn white nationalism," it said in an open letter. The signers wrote, the attack on the synagogue was a "direct escalation" of Trump's "influence". The governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, and the mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, both Democrats, announced in advance that they would not meet Trump during his visit. However, the rabbi of the Tree of Life Synagogue, Jeffrey Myers, said the president was welcome.
The attack on the church had been perpetrated by 46-year-old Robert Bowers with an assault rifle and three handguns. He was in the building for twenty minutes before the police overwhelmed him. Bowers was shot and had to undergo surgery, but survived and was able to leave the hospital. On Monday he first appeared in court. The prosecution, which is scheduled to speak on Thursday, demands the death penalty for the man.