Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said he's receiving death threats after telling CNN President Trump is welcome at the Tree of Life synagogue. Myers was leading services at the temple in Pittsburgh when a gunman opened fire Saturday, killing 11 people.
“The president of the United States is always welcome,” the rabbi said Monday. “I am a citizen, he is my president. He is always welcome.”
The remarks came as Pittsburgh Democratic mayor, Bill Peduto, urged Trump to stay away from the city while those left behind mourn their lost friends and family.
"I do believe that it would be best to put the attention on families this week and if he were to visit, choose a different time to do it," Peduto told CNN, adding that he's worried about protests.
Trump ultimately made the journey to Pittsburgh Tuesday, just as the first funerals were getting underway. Among them were two brothers, 59-year-old Cecil and 54-year-old David Rosenthal, as well as 66-year-old Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz.
Speaking to Fox News Monday night, Trump insisted he felt he needed to pay his respects to the victims.
"I really look forward to going," Trump said.
More is being learned about the man accused of the massacre. Robert Bowers, 46, faces dozens of charges for opening fire at the synagogue. In recent weeks, he'd reportedly become obsessed with the caravan of migrants heading for the U.S.
Minutes before walking into the temple, Bowers allegedly wrote about his intentions on the fringe social media site Gab, which was favored by white nationalists before it was shuttered in the wake of the killings.
"I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered," he posted. "Screw your optics, I'm going in."