Biden criticised over ‘false’ synagogue claims says expert
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Speaking to Jewish leaders last week Mr Biden claimed he remembers “spending time” at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the site of a mass shooting that killed 11 worshipers and injured six, including a number of Holocaust survivors on October 28, 2018. In a desperate scramble by the White House communications team to clear up Mr Biden’s false claims, they insisted while Mr Biden did not visit in person but rang the Rabbi of the Synagogue following the attack.
During a 16-minute-call with local leaders ahead of the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur this week, President Biden said he visited the synagogue in the aftermath of the attack.
Mr Biden told leaders: “I remember spending time going to the Tree of Life Synagogue.”
But the synagogue’s executive director, Barb Feige, told the New York Post on Thursday that President Biden did not visit.
The White House were then forced to admit President Biden did not in fact visit the synagogue
Joe Biden falsely claimed he visited the Tree of Life Synagogue (Image: Sky News)
Biden said he “remembers” visiting the scene of the massacre despite never setting foot there (Image: Sky News Australia)
In a scrambled statement, the White House claimed President Biden “was referring to a call he had with the Tree of Life rabbi in 2019.”
Despite Mr Biden’s absence, former President Donald Trump visited the Tree of Life three days after the attack in a move widely praised and celebrated by the community.
Following the President’s claims, Tree of Life Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers said despite not visiting in person, Mr Biden rang him following the incident.
He said: “President Biden kindly called me on my cell phone as I was sitting in Dulles Airport awaiting a return flight to Pittsburg after I testified before Congress in July 2019.
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Mr Biden never visited the site but President Trump did (Image: Getty Images)
“In a heartfelt way, he extended his condolences and asked how we were doing.
“We spoke about the challenges of antisemitism, and he made clear he would confront it with us as President.
“The conversation meant a great deal to me, and I will always be grateful for his kind words and continued support of my community.”
On October 27, 2018 a white supremacist gunman entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh killing 11 people and wounding six in the worst anti-Jewish hate crime in America’s history.
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Tree of Life Synagogue (Image: Getty Images)
The gunman was identified as 46-year-old Robert Gregory Bowers who was active on Anti-Semitic blogs and websites.
A post found on one webpage following the incident detailed how Mr Bowers was so angry at the Jewish community that he was “going in”.
He was shot multiple times by police before being detained and is awaiting trial in the US on 36 charges.
His crimes are reportedly eligible for capital punishment.