Pittsburgh rabbi was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by Trump

Pittsburgh rabbi was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by Trump
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The rabbi of the Pittsburgh synagogue that was attacked last Saturday said Thursday that President TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE surprised him with his warmth.

"The president was very warm, very consoling," Jeffrey Myers said, recalling the conversation he had with Trump and the president's family during a visit on Tuesday.

"He put his hand on my shoulder and the first question he asked me was, 'rabbi, tell me how are you doing?'"


"And I must say, throughout the time we spent together, I was pleasantly surprised by a warm and personal side to the president that I don't think America has ever seen," he said.

"I told my personal story of my experience, which they found quite shocking and upsetting."

"I shared the same message that I've shared with you throughout the course of the week," Myers said. "That hate speech has no place in our society. That hate speech leads to actions of hate."

"Hate speech led to the death of seven of my congregants and eleven total in my building." 

A gunman stormed the synagogue Saturday, reportedly screaming "all Jews must die" as he fired at those gathered to worship.

Myers has decried hate from all corners since the shooting took place.

Though the synagogue's ex-president and a progressive Jewish group both called for the president to stay away after the tragedy, Myers said earlier this week that Trump was "certainly welcome."

He later told CNN that he had received numerous hateful messages condemning his decision. 

Myers said on Thursday that he and the Trumps lit eleven memorial candles within the synagogue.

The rabbi prayed for those lost, before escorting the Trumps outside to the makeshift memorials that have been constructed for the victims.

"The president placed a stone on each monument, the first lady a white rose," Myers said, adding that he told them something about each of the victims as they walked.