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Trump says Pittsburgh synagogue should have had armed guards

President Donald Trump said Saturday that the outcome of the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue would...

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 2:23 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 2:23 AM

President Donald Trump said Saturday that the outcome of the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue would have been different had an armed guard been in place.

"If there was an armed guard inside the temple, they would have been able to stop him," he said to reporters before boarding a flight to a pair of events later in the afternoon.

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Eleven people were killed and six injured in Saturday morning's shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania man Robert Bowers, 46, of suburban Baldwin, faces 29 charges in connection to the rampage.

Trump also said the nation should strengthen its laws surrounding the death penalty.

"When people do this, they should get the death penalty," he said. "Anybody that does a thing like this to innocent people that are in temple or in church ... they should be suffering the ultimate price, they should pay the ultimate price."

When asked if the shooting indicated a need to revisit gun laws, Trump replied that the shooting "has little to do with it" and that an armed guard might have been able to stop the gunman "immediately."

Asked if he was advocating for armed guards inside of places of worship, Trump replied, "no, it's certainly an option."

Michael Eisenberg, the immediate past president of Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue, told CNN affiliate WPXI that on the high holidays, there is a police presence. But not on this Saturday.

"On a day like today, the door is open," he said. "It's a religious service, you could walk in and out."

Trump praised law enforcement officials for doing "an incredible job" and said he had spoken with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

Upon landing in Indianapolis to speak at an agriculture convention, Trump said the shooting appeared to have anti-Semitic motivations.

"It looks definitely like it's an anti-Semitic crime, and that is something you wouldn't believe could still be going on," Trump said.

The FBI is the lead agency on the investigation and is treating the shooting as a hate crime, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.

Bowers is charged with 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder. Additionally he faces multiple counts of two hate crimes: obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

'Pure evil'

During remarks at the Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis, Trump again called the act "anti-Semitic" and condemned it as "pure evil."

"This wicked act of mass murder is pure evil -- hard to believe, and frankly something that is unimaginable," he said.

"This was an anti-Semitic act," the President added. "You wouldn't think this would be possible in this day and age, but we just don't seem to learn from the past."

"There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice," Trump added.

Trump said ahead of a political rally in Illinois later Saturday that he planned to visit Pittsburgh, although he did not say when the trip would occur.

At the rally itself, Trump again denounced anti-Semitism and repeated his call for the use of the death penalty.

"They have to pay the ultimate price," Trump said. "They can't do this."

He went on to deliver remarks largely characteristic of his rallies, talking in particular about the economy and immigration while attacking Democrats as he sought to motivate Republicans in the midterm elections.

'Ultimate price'

Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump's remarks on the shooting, telling rallygoers in Las Vegas, Nevada, that "anyone who does such a thing in a temple or a church should pay the ultimate price."

"As Las Vegas knows all too well, what happened in Pittsburgh today was not just criminal, it was evil," Pence said, alluding to the October 2017 shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival, where 58 people were killed and hundreds more wounded.

"There is no place in America for violence or anti-Semitism, and this evil must end," he added, calling the shooting "an attack on innocent Americans and an assault on our freedom of religion."

Presidential adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump, who along with her husband Jared Kushner is Jewish, said Saturday that "America is stronger than the acts of a depraved bigot and anti-semite."

"All good Americans stand with the Jewish people to oppose acts of terror & share the horror, disgust & outrage over the massacre in Pittsburgh," she tweeted. "We must unite against hatred & evil. God bless those affected."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20772248
Hinds19888408
Harrison17489302
Rankin13311275
Jackson13097243
Madison9895210
Lee9856169
Jones8290160
Forrest7523146
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Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3180104
Scott310572
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Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
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Prentiss275659
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Leake261073
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Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120041
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
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Humphreys94332
Franklin81823
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518899

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753641487
Mobile37763798
Madison33859494
Tuscaloosa25266443
Montgomery23962565
Shelby23106238
Baldwin20631300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14284311
Morgan14139268
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St. Clair9426234
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DeKalb8746181
Talladega8058171
Walker7087275
Jackson6754110
Autauga6723103
Blount6483135
Colbert6203130
Coffee5399112
Dale4767110
Russell428838
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia387674
Dallas3527149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256258
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218775
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171440
Washington164038
Macon154548
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
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Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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