President Donald Trump will spend his Monday afternoon in Pittsburgh, ostensibly to support a grieving community still reeling from the deadliest anti-Semitic act of domestic terrorism in American history. Given what we know about Trump, he will almost certainly fail.
But not only will the president bumble any attempt to comfort a city in mourning, he will be doing so essentially on his own without an entourage of political allies to back him up.
According to CNN, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan both declined White House invitations to appear with Trump in Pittsburgh, as did Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey. All cited various scheduling issues for their conspicuous absences.
In addition, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey—all Democrats—declined to appear with Trump as well.
But it’s not just national figures who are leaving Trump to say stupid things by himself. Local politicians, including Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald, will also leave the president hanging when he arrives.
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“We did try to get the message out to the White House that our priority tomorrow is the first funeral,” Peduto told CNN on Monday.
“I do believe that it would be best to put the attention on the families this week, and if [Trump] were to visit, choose a different time to be able to do it,” Peduto continued. “Our focus as a city will be on the families and the outreach that they’ll need this week and the support that they’ll need to get through it.”
A number of local Jewish leaders have also demanded the president stay out of Pittsburgh, and scheduled multiple protests ahead of Trump’s visit.
While the White House has not released an official itinerary for Trump’s time in Pittsburgh, CNN, citing an administration official, reported that the president may spend his time visiting “law enforcement officials and perhaps the wounded officers still in the hospital.”