Administration

Top congressional leaders in both parties decline to join Trump in Pittsburgh

Greg Nash

The top congressional leaders from both parties declined an invitation from the White House to join President Trump on Tuesday in Pittsburgh in the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Both House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were unable to make the trip due to scheduling conflicts, with Ryan’s office noting he wasn’t able to make it on such short notice. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) also decided not to attend.

The declined invites were first reported by CNN. 

{mosads}Trump and first lady Melania Trump are slated to visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday, just days after Saturday’s shooting.

The mayor of Pittsburgh on Monday evening suggested that the president choose a different time to visit the city rather than the day of the first of 11 funerals for the victims of the shooting.

“I do believe that it would be best to put the attention on the families this week and if he were to visit choose a different time to be able to do it,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D) told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “Our focus as a city will be on the families and the outreach they will need this week and the support they’ll need to get through it.”

Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday night that he was going to visit the city to pay his respects.

“I’m also going to the hospital to see the officers and some of the people that were so badly hurt,” Trump said. “I really look forward to going. I would have done it even sooner, but I didn’t want to disrupt anymore than they already had disruption.”

His visit to the city has been met with some backlash. A group of progressive Jewish leaders penned an open letter on Sunday telling the president he is not welcome until he denounces white nationalism.

More than 57,000 people have signed a petition from the group, the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, telling Trump he’s not welcome in the city.

But the rabbi at Tree of Life said that Trump is “always welcome.”

“I’m a citizen. He’s my president. He is certainly welcome,” Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said Monday.

Morgan Gstalter and Jordain Carney contributed

Tags Charles Schumer congressional leadership Donald Trump Mass shooting Melania Trump Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Paul Ryan Pittsburgh Synagogue attack
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