Trump calls rabbi to offer condolences after California synagogue shooting

President Trump on Sunday spoke with the rabbi injured in the mass shooting targeting the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California to offer his support, the White House said.

Trump spoke by phone with Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein “to offer his comfort and condolences on behalf of the Nation,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

“The President expressed his love for the Jewish people and the entire community of Poway. The President also thanked the brave members of law enforcement who acted swiftly, including the off duty border patrol agent who stopped the shooter,” the statement added.

The rabbi confirmed the call to reporters earlier Sunday, saying Trump spoke about his love of peace, Israel and Judaism during the conversation.{mosads}

Goldstein was hit in the hand when he came face-to-face with the shooter Saturday at the synagogue about 22 miles north of San Diego, with the rabbi saying he put his hands up.

The gunman killed Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, who authorities said stepped in front of Goldstein as he attempted to evacuate children. Several others were wounded in the shooting.

“The Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of religion for all faiths. And we are so grateful to live here in this country that protects our rights to live openly and proudly as Jews,” Goldstein said on NBC’s “Today” show on Sunday. “One thing’s for sure. I guarantee you, we will not be intimidated or deterred by terror.”

Trump first expressed his condolences for the victims of the shooting on Saturday, offering his “thoughts and prayers” to those affected on Twitter before addressing the shooting later while appearing for a campaign rally in Wisconsin.

“Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated,” Trump said.

“We are grateful to the law enforcement personnel for their courageous response,” he added. “And I especially want to recognize an off-duty Border Patrol agent who bravely returned fire and helped disrupt the attack and save so many lives.”

A 19-year-old suspect has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection to the shooting.

Tags Chabad Donald Trump Goldstein Poway, California Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein
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