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White House Admits: Joe Biden Didn’t Visit Tree of Life Synagogue After Massacre Like He'd Claimed

© AFP 2022 / MANDEL NGANUS President Joe Biden makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland on 3 September 2021
US President Joe Biden makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland on 3 September 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.09.2021
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Eleven people died and several more were injured during the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting, carried out by a white supremacist, Robert Bowers, in 2018. The tragedy has often been portrayed as one of the worst anti-Semitic crimes in the history of America.
US President Joe Biden has been proven wrong once again.
The White House admitted on Friday that the president didn’t visit the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in the wake of 2018 mass shooting that left 11 congregants dead.
Biden made the claim on Thursday, as he was speaking to Jewish leaders in a virtual event ahead of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays.
“I remember spending time at the, you know, going to the, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with them,” the president said during a 16-minute address as he was decrying acts of anti-Semitism.
However, Tree of Life executive director Barb Feige told the New York Post shortly after the event that Biden hadn't made a personal visit to the tragedy-struck synagogue, neither before nor after taking office.
​The synagogue’s rabbi Jeffrey Myers, however, told CNN that Biden called him almost a year after the tragedy:
“President Biden kindly called me on my cell phone as I was sitting in Dulles Airport awaiting a return flight to Pittsburgh after I testified before Congress in July 2019,” Myers said in a statement, adding that the conversation “meant a great deal” to him.
After Biden’s faulty claims got scrutinised by the media, the White House admitted to the New York Post that the president was referring to “a call he had with the Tree of Life rabbi in 2019.”
Former President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania meanwhile paid a personal visit to the Pittsburgh synagogue three days after the shooting that took lives of 11 people, including Holocaust survivors, and left six more injured. The first family’s procession to the crime scene included Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and then- Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin.
Joe Biden has visibly struggled with his memory during the Thursday speech. The president had trouble recalling the names of the hymn “On Eagle’s Wings” and “Hava Nagilia” - a traditional Jewish song – as he was reminiscing about his daughter’s wedding to a Jewish doctor, which he joked was “the dream of every Catholic father”.
“My mind is going blank now, what’s the song that is played where everybody is on the chair? I can’t remember it,” the president told rabbis during the address.
Joe Biden’s mental soundness has long been a matter of public scrutiny due to his old age and a string of public gaffes and dubious statements in the past. Just last month Biden raised many eyebrows in the wake of the chaotic US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, when he claimed that al-Qaeda* was “gone” from the country after 20 years of America’s military presence. The statement was later debunked by his own officials.
*Al-Qaeda is listed as terrorist organisations in Russia.
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