President Donald Trump continued to condemn the Saturday shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed at least 11 people.
“The hearts of all Americans are filled with grief following the monstrous killing of Jewish Americans at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., you’ve all seen it, you’ve been watching it, it’s horrible,” he said at a rally in Murphysboro, Ill.
“This evil anti-Semitic attack is an attack on all of us, it is an assault on humanity. It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world. This was an anti-Semitic attack at its worst,” Trump added. “The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot be tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue … It must be confronted and condemned everywhere it rears its very ugly head.”
Vice President Pence also condemned the shooting while speaking at an event in Las Vegas, saying, “There is no place in America for violence or anti-Semitism.”
Suspected shooter 46-year-old Robert Bowers posted on his Gab page that “jews are the children of satan.” He also reportedly shouted “all Jews must die” before he opened fire Saturday.
Trump doubled down on his earlier calls for prosecutors to consider the death penalty for the shooter in this attack and other targeted shootings.
“Through the centuries, the Jews have endured terrible persecution … And those seeking their destruction, we will seek their destruction. And when you have crimes like this, whether it’s this one or another one on another group, we have to bring back the death penalty,” he said.
Trump earlier suggested an armed guard at the synagogue could have stopped the shooting.
“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside they would have been able to stop him immediately,” he said.
When asked if all places of prayer should have guards, Trump said, “it’s certainly an option.”
The shooting came amid heightened tensions this week over a spate of explosive devices mailed to more than a dozen prominent Democratic figures and former intelligence officials who have been critical of and criticized by the president. Federal authorities on Friday arrested and charged a Florida man in connection to that case.