News & Politics

WATCH: President Trump Takes Reporter Questions on Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters about a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue as he arrives at Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Trump announced on Twitter, and again on the tarmac as he was departing for a Future Farmers of America event, that he will be releasing a “major statement” Saturday following the killings at a synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh.

He also took questions from reporters before boarding the plane and perhaps hinted at some of what he will address in his statement.

“It’s a terrible, terrible thing, what’s going on with hate in our country, frankly, and all over the world,” said the president. “And something has to be done. Something has to be done.”

Asked about gun laws, Trump replied that if there had been guns in the temple, there may have been a different outcome. It should be noted, despite the claims of victim-blaming, that he was specifically asked about whether guns should be prohibited because of the shooting. It is a logical reply to state that, rather than removing guns, having them present may have helped. This is not to say that’s a definitive statement, but rather pointing out it’s a logical progression of remarks from question to answer. At that point.

Trump also said the death penalty should be “stiffened up” and brought back “into vogue.” He then went back to the idea that there could or should have been more security or guns, and at that point was too heavily focusing on what the victims ought to have done, rather than what the murderer did.

He was asked what he can do to stop the violence. I tweeted the transcript of that question.

Again, none of this is his official “big” statement that he says is coming today, but off-the-cuff remarks in the wake of a tragedy.