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Peduto declines meeting with President Trump during Pittsburgh visit

Aaron Aupperlee
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers walks with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffery Myers greets President Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
TrumpMelania01
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump is visiting Pittsburgh following the massacre at a synagogue in Squirrel Hill.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers walks with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
PTRTrumpTreeOfLife13103118
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers walks with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers speaks with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Trump speaks to the media outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Evren Bartlett, 6, of Squirrel Hill, places flowers at a makeshift memorial near the Tree of Life Synagogue, at the intersection of Northumberland St. and Shady Ave. in Squirrel Hill, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Signs in the hands of protesters, at the intersection of Northumberland St. and Shady Ave. in Squirrel Hill, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Friendship residents Susan Spanger (left), is comforted by Ted Cmarada, during a rally at the intersection of Northumberland St. and Shady Ave. in Squirrel Hill, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Brenda Smith, of Squirrel Hill, tears a paper in kriah, the tradition of rending a garment after loosing a loved one, during a rally at the intersection of Northumberland St. and Shady Ave. in Squirrel Hill, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Friendship resident Susan Spanger prays and cries, during a rally at the intersection of Northumberland St. and Shady Ave. in Squirrel Hill, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
If Not Now Pittsburgh member Eva Westheimer leads a crowd of demonstrators in song on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Bridget Brady of Murraysville responds to the thousands of people marching on Shady Avenue to protest the visit of President Donald Trump to the Tree of Life Synagogue, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, after 11 people were shot and killed during religious services on Saturday.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Marchers head down Forbes to protest the visit of President Donald Trump to the Tree of Life Synagogue, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, after 11 people were shot and killed during religious services on Saturday.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers walks with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
PTRTrumpTreeOfLife04103118
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffery Myers greets President Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
PTRTrumpTreeOfLife11103118
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers walks with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
PTRTrumpTreeOfLife04103118
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffery Myers greets President Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
TrumpMelania01
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump is visiting Pittsburgh following the massacre at a synagogue in Squirrel Hill.
PTRTrumpTreeOfLife17103118
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers walks with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
PTRTrumpTreeOfLife13103118
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers walks with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
PTRTrumpTreeOfLife23103118
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers speaks with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018.
PTRTrumpTreeOfLife25103118
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Trump speaks to the media outside of Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill on Oct. 30, 2018. President Trump paid Pittsburgh a visit following the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue.
gtrSHMarch004103118
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Evren Bartlett, 6, of Squirrel Hill, places flowers at a makeshift memorial near the Tree of Life Synagogue, at the intersection of Northumberland St. and Shady Ave. in Squirrel Hill, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
gtrSHMarch007103118
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Signs in the hands of protesters, at the intersection of Northumberland St. and Shady Ave. in Squirrel Hill, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto speaks during a community interfaith vigil inside of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum Oakland on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018.
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President Donald Trump walks up the steps of Air Force One at Sioux Falls Regional Airport, in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.

President Donald Trump will visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday as funeral services begin for 11 people killed when a gunman attacked a synagogue during weekend services.

The president spoke on Fox News with Laura Ingraham on Monday night, telling the host he wants to visit people injured in the attacks. Trump will visit UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland, where two police officers and two worshipers are recovering from injuries.

“I’m just going to pay my respects,” Trump told Ingraham. “I’m also going to the hospital to see the officers and some of the people that were so badly hurt.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto declined an offer from the White House to meet with President Trump Tuesday, a city official said.

Peduto spokesman Tim McNulty said the White House on Monday night requested a meeting with the mayor and wanted Peduto to appear publicly with Trump. He said Peduto is spending his day attending funerals and supporting families of victims killed Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

“His sole focus is on the funerals,” McNulty said. “The city’s sole focus is on supporting the families.”

Peduto on Monday said the president to hold off on a visit to the city until after the funerals for 11 victims. He said Pittsburgh doesn’t have enough public safety personnel to cover funerals and a presidential visit simultaneously and that the White House should seek approval from the families before scheduling a visit.

Robert Bowers, the accused gunman, opened fire Saturday inside the Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill. Funerals for three victims are being held Tuesday, with others planned throughout the week.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are scheduled to arrive at Pittsburgh International Airport at 3:45 p.m. They should be back at the White House by 7:45 p.m.

Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said Monday he welcomed a visit from the president.

“The president of the United States is always welcome,” Myers told CNN. “I’m a citizen. He’s my president. He is certainly welcome.”

Mark Hetfield, president and director of the Hebrew Immigrant Assistance Society, said Trump should not come to Pittsburgh.

HIAS works with local agencies – including Jewish Family and Community Services in Pittsburgh – to resettle refugees fleeing their countries. Bowers targeted HIAS by name on social media, alleging they were bringing “invaders” into the country.

Hetfield called the hateful rhetoric about refugees appalling.

“As president, it would be inappropriate for him not to come, but given his role in spreading hate against refugees and ‘the other.’ I’m not comfortable with it,” Hetfield said.

He also said the president left out an important component when he condemned the Pittsburgh attack.

“(He) mentioned anti-Semitism multiple times, which was important, but he did not mention that this murderer attacked this synagogue because these were Jews helping refugees,” he said. “That part he didn’t mention, and that’s very important.”

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Aaron at 412-336-8448, [email protected] or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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