Tree of Life Synagogue Director Disputes Biden Visit Claim Then-President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, alongside Rabbi Jeffrey Myers (L), walk to place stones and flowers on a memorial as they pay their respects at the Tree of Life Synagogue following last weekend's shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Oct. 30, 2018. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
By Charles Kim | Friday, 03 September 2021 10:54 AM
When President Joe Biden told a group of Rabbis that he visited the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after a 2018 anti-Semitic attack that killed 11 people, it appears he was mistaken.
"I remember spending time at the, you know, going to the, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with them," Biden said in a 16-minute virtual address ahead of the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
A male assailant shouting anti-Semitic slurs fired his AR-15 rifle into the place of worship one morning in October 2018, killing 11 and wounding four police officers.
"It is amazing these things are happening in America," Biden said. "If we walk away from 'never again,' it is going to happen again."
The problem with Biden’s comments, however, was that he did not visit the Synagogue following the shooting, Executive Director Barb Feige told the New York Post Friday.
According to the Post, when asked about Biden’s "visit" prior to running for president, but following the end of his term as vice president, Feige "firmly said 'no.'"
CNN also found no evidence to support Biden’s claim he went to the Synagogue following the shooting as President Donald Trump did just three days later.
According to a New York Post article dated Oct. 30, 2018, Trump visited with first lady Melania Trump, his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Israeli Ambassador Ron Demer.
"I’m just going to pay my respects," Trump said in the article. "I’m also going to the hospital to see the officers and some of the people that were so badly hurt."
Biden’s call with the rabbis comes before the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which begin with the Jewish New Year from Sept. 6-8, and then the "Day of Atonement" on Sept. 15, which is the most important holiday of the year.
He did issue a statement while a presidential candidate, marking the second anniversary of the attack in 2020.
"When anti-Semitism is allowed to fester, it shreds the fabric of our communities and erodes our soul. We must stand up and speak out whenever and wherever it rears its head, because silence can become complicity," the 2020 statement said. "If we are ever to reach our full potential as a nation, we must banish hatred, bigotry, and conspiratorial fanaticism to the dustbin of history — and choose a path of dignity and respect for all people."
The White House did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.