Trump Says Synagogue Shooting Could Have Been Prevented With “Armed Guards”

Four police officers were shot during the incident.

CNN

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

When President Trump was asked about the mass shooting this morning at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left eight dead, he told reporters that greater security inside the synagogue, not stricter gun laws, could have prevented the tragedy. 

“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside, they would have been able to stop him immediately,” the president said. “Maybe there would have been nobody killed.”

Four police officers were shot in a confrontation with the assailant. 

When a reporter asked if it was time to revisit federal gun reform legislation, Trump brushed the suggestion aside. “Well again, this has little to do with it,” he said. “If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better.”

In response to a question about what should be done about the continuous cycle of mass shootings in this country, the president suggested stricter corporal punishment. “We should stiffen up our laws in terms of the death penalty,” the president replied. “They should pay the ultimate price.”

Trump characterized the shooter as “a madman, a whacko” a blamed a “violent world” for the loss of life at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh earlier today.

President Trump has expressed conflicting opinions on the subject of gun control since the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, reawakened national outcry for the federal government to act. The day after the Parkland massacre, the president blamed the shooting on the gunman’s mental health and called for arming teachers in a speech the following week. But he has also demonstrated interest in stronger federally mandated background checks—the central aim of gun violence prevention activists—during a roundtable with victims of gun violence at the end of February. Congress has not passed any significant federal gun reform legislation since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 dead.

The president says he will address the shooting during his remarks at the Future Farmers of America conference in Indianapolis, where he is scheduled to appear at 2:30 pm this afternoon.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate