President Donald Trump is called upon once again to step into the all-too-frequent role of national consoler following the worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in American history.
He faces an uneasy welcome on Tuesday to the anguished Pittsburgh community of Squirrel Hill, where he’s to pay his respects after 11 people were gunned down at the Tree of Life synagogue during Sabbath services.
Marianne Novy and David Dvir live in Squirrel Hill. To Novy, Trump isn’t wanted “unless he really changes his ways.” For Dvir, politics should take a pause for grief. He says: “It’s our president, and we need to welcome him.”
The visit comes as Trump struggles to balance appeals for national unity with partisan campaign rhetoric just a week before contentious midterm elections.