Jewish activists in Pittsburgh interrupted a Wednesday speech by President Trump, shouting “Trump endangers Jews” and accusing the president of neglecting to take meaningful action in the year since the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, the deadliest anti-Semitic incident in U.S. history.
Trump was in the city Wednesday to deliver remarks at a shale conference when the protesters interrupted. About six people were escorted out of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center by police.
Trump exhorted the conference attendees to ignore the protesters and added, “Don’t hurt them. Don’t hurt them, please. … They don’t know they’re dealing with very tough people.”
“Go home to mom,” he said as the protestors were leaving, according to a White House pool report of the event.
“The gunman who entered the synagogue a year ago was driven by fear and lies to kill Jewish people and stop new immigrants — but he didn’t invent these lies. He heard them from the mouth of this President and the white nationalists this President and his allies have emboldened and enabled,” the protesters said in a statement.
“And what did this President do? Instead of changing his ways, he doubled down on his ugly rhetoric and policies of fear, leading to more violence and deaths, from Poway to El Paso to our nation’s immigrant detention facilities, and beyond. Our lives were not worth changes in policy or rhetoric for him,” the statement added.
Trump’s critics have accused him of contributing to the climate that led a white nationalist to kill 11 people, as the alleged gunman claimed to be motivated by the synagogue’s pro-immigrant stance at the same time that Trump repeatedly raised the specter of a “caravan” of migrants approaching the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of the 2018 midterms.