Speed Reads

pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Trump's brief Pittsburgh synagogue shooting censure was reportedly crafted by Ivanka and Jared Kushner

President Trump responded to the murder of 11 Jewish congregants in Pittsburgh on Saturday with a forceful condemnation of the "evil anti-Semitic attack" and "the scourge of anti-Semitism." Those solemn remarks — sandwiched in between a suggestion that the Tree of Life synagogue should've had "protection" and a joke about his "bad hair day" — followed "the importuning of his Jewish daughter and son-in-law to craft a powerful statement of outrage at anti-Semitism," The New York Times reports.

After reading the statement, Trump immediately "went back into partisan mode, assailing his enemies," and "by the evening's end he was tweeting about baseball," the Times reports, continuing:

The president has made clear he does not see national harmony as his mission. ... He reads the dutiful words of unity and grief and determination that aides put in front of him, but he refuses to stick to the script. ... Inside the White House, advisers veer between resolve, resignation, and resentment. ... Sometimes they take it upon themselves to do what he will not. Two White House officials, Jason Greenblatt and Avi Berkowitz, traveled to Pittsburgh on Saturday a few hours after the shooting, and were still there on Sunday. Urged on by his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, the president made plans to travel to Pittsburgh this week. [The New York Times]

The White House is right that the accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter and the "far-right faction with which [he] identifies does oppose Trump as a pro-Jewish sellout, citing such betrayals as his support for Israel and the marriage of his daughter to a Jewish man," Jonathan Chait says at New York, but the shooter "does identify with some of Trump's goals and rhetoric, because Trump has inspired the racist far right to a degree surpassing any modern American president." You can read more about Trump's shooting response and long, complicated "relationship with Judaism" at The New York Times.