Trump calls Pittsburgh protest reports ‘Fake News,’ says he was ‘treated so warmly’

President Trump on Wednesday said he was “treated so warmly” in Pittsburgh and aired his grievances against media coverage of his visit to the site of the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. 

In a morning tweet, Trump dismissed “Fake News” stories about protests against his visit to the Tree of Life Synagogue, where 11 people were killed Saturday, and insisted he was “shown great respect.” 

{mosads}”Melania and I were treated very nicely yesterday in Pittsburgh. The Office of the President was shown great respect on a very sad and solemn day. We were treaty so warmly,” he wrote.  

The tweet included a video, set to music, of Trump viewing memorials outside the synagogue and greeting wounded law-enforcement officers.

Hundreds of people marched in solemn protest around the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, many carrying signs condemning Trump’s incendiary rhetoric. But the president described the protests as “small” and said they were “not seen by us, staged far away.”

“The Fake News stories were just the opposite-Disgraceful!” Trump tweeted.  

The New York Times, which Trump regularly reads, used the headline “Trump’s Visit to Pittsburgh Divides a City Mourning Victims of Hate” on its lead story about the trip.

The president’s first public comments on the visit made no mention of the victims, who were still being buried on Wednesday, and instead were focused on his personal treatment during a visit intended to give comfort to a community in grief.

The remarks inflamed the controversy surrounding Trump’s decision to visit Pittsburgh, which came amid a debate on how much the president’s comments have given cover to white nationalists and other extremist groups.

Critics have questioned the president’s sincerity when responding to national crises, and some Pittsburgh leaders asked Trump to hold off on visiting until the funerals for victims were over.  

But other leaders said Trump was welcome and the president was reportedly wary of being criticized for waiting too long to visit.  

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump “was very moved” by his time in Pittsburgh, saying he called it “very humbling and very sad.”

Asked why Trump did not make comments during the visit, Sanders said, “He wanted today to be about showing respect for the families and the friends of the victims, as well as for Jewish Americans.”

Updated at 10:10 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump Pittsburgh shooting Synagogue Trump tweets

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