Congressional leaders from both parties along with much of the local leadership have turned down an invitation from the White House to travel to Pittsburgh following the massacre at a synagogue over the weekend.
The White House asked the top four congressional leaders — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) — to accompany Trump and first lady Melania Trump to Pittsburgh but all declined, according to three officials familiar with the invitations.
An aide to McConnell, who on Monday denounced the shootings as “hate crimes,” said he was “unable to attend today” on Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh, where 11 people were gunned down Saturday at Tree of Life synagogue. A spokeswoman for Ryan said the speaker wasn’t able to make the trip on the short notice.
A spokesman for the city’s Democratic mayor, Bill Peduto, said he was invited but will not be appearing with the president. Peduto had urged Trump not to visit Pittsburgh until after the funerals for the victims had concluded, saying, “all attention [Tuesday] should be on the victims.”
Peduto also added: “We do not have enough public safety officials to provide enough protection at the funerals and to be able at the same time draw attention to a potential presidential visit.”
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) was also invited to join Trump in Pittsburgh, but a spokesman said Toomey will be attending previously scheduled commitments in the southeastern part of the state. Toomey has attended a vigil and met with law enforcement officials and Jewish leaders in Pittsburgh since the shooting, spokesman Steve Kelly said. Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), who is scheduled to attend a service in southeastern Pennsylvania when Trump visits Pittsburgh, did not get an invitation from the White House, a spokesman said. Read on...
None of them should be going, but apparently, that won't stop House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) from joining him.
UPDATE: Look how desperate Trump is to squeeze a few Brownie points out. The White House is literally lying to everyone to get one official to legitimize their trip. - Karoli