'Trump cherishes Jewish Americans'

WH press secretary struggles to hold back tears after synagogue massacre: 'The President adores Jewish Americans as part of his own family.'

Gary Willig ,

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

The White House defended US President Donald Trump from accusations by his political opponents that his rhetoric contributed to the environment that led to the massacre of 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.

"You can’t start putting the responsibility of the individuals on anybody but the individual who carries out the crime," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a press briefing Monday.

Sanders called anti-Semitism a "plague to humanity" and said the murders were "an act of hatred and above all an act of evil.”

Struggling to hold back tears, Sanders spoke of President Trump's love for the Jewish people and for the Jewish members of his own family.

"The President cherishes the American Jewish community for everything t stands for and contributes to our country. He adores Jewish Americans as part of his own family. The President is the grandfather of several Jewish grandchildren. His daughter is a Jewish American, and his son-in-law is a descendant of Holocaust survivors.

"Tomorrow, the President and First Lady will travel to Pennsylvania to express the support of the American people and grieve with the Pittsburgh community," she said.