Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D) said Monday night that he had tried to “get a message out to the White House” that officials’ “priority” would be the first of the burials for the 11 Jewish worshippers gunned down at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday.
Trump and the first lady intend to travel to Pittsburgh at some point on Tuesday.
Peduto told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the city’s safety resources would be occupied keeping the funeral and Jewish community centers safe, and not available to serve the extensive needs of a presidential visit.
“I do believe it would be best to put the attention on the families this week and if he were to visit, choose a different time,” Peduto said. “Our focus will be on the families and outreach they’ll need and the support they’ll need to get through it. Once we get past that, I think there’s the opportunity for presidential visits.”
Some have expressed disdain at the idea of President Donald Trump visiting, with tens of thousands signing a letter written by Pittsburgh’s Jewish leaders stating that Trump is not welcome until he firmly disavows white nationalists.
In all likelihood, Peduto worries that protests would accompany Trump’s visit and disrupt the solemnity of the burial process.
Watch Peduto’s comments here:
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 30, 2018