WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told attendees at the White House Hanukkah reception Thursday that October’s deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue reaffirmed the need to combat anti-Semitism.
“In the aftermath of that wicked assault, we reaffirmed our solid duty to confront anti-Semitism everywhere it occurs,” Trump said. “We must stamp out this vile hatred from the world.”
On Oct. 27 a gunman opened fire inside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, killing 11 people in what amounted to the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history.
After arresting the suspect on the scene following a shoot-out, police identified him as Robert Bowers, a 46-year-old Baldwin, Pennsylvania resident with a long history of anti-Semitic and white nationalist rhetoric online.
To drive home his point of the dangers of anti-Semitism, the president had eight Holocaust survivors come forward.
The president also used the opportunity to address a Jewish audience to tout his administration’s efforts to roll back the Iran deal and to build the U.S.’ Israel-based embassy in Jerusalem.
Trump appeared to be well-received, prompting chants of “four more years” from many in the crowd.
“It is actually six more,” Trump quipped in response.