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Trump opens speech responding to anti-Semitism, Kansas shooting
President Trump addresses a joint session of Congress. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

After he was criticized for not speaking out about a recent spate of anti-Semitic acts and a deadly shooting in Kansas, President Trump opened his speech to Congress by mentioning both.

“Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” Trump said.

(The shooting death of an Indian man in Kansas actually occurred in Olathe, Kan., just outside Kansas City.)

It is unclear whether Trump’s remarks — he mentioned the two things first before moving onto other topics — will calm the criticism he has faced from groups, newspaper editorial boards and average citizens questioning why he has not spoken out.

In the Kansas shooting, Trump’s remarks came only hours after the FBI’s announcement that it was investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Trump has had more time to respond to the anti-Semitic incidents, which include 100 bomb threats called into Jewish centers and schools this year and, recently, vandalism at two Jewish cemeteries. However, he only last week offered his first public condemnation of the anti-Semitic incidents after declining to do so in previous news conferences.

One thing his remarks tonight did not clarify: What, exactly, he meant when he met with attorneys general on Tuesday and questioned who was behind the anti-Semitic acts. His comments appeared to many that he was suggesting someone may have been trying to frame his supporters, but it was not clear what he meant to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D), who first publicly reported on the remarks.

Real-time fact-checking and analysis of Trump’s address to Congress
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress as Vice President Mike Pence (L) and House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R) (R-WI) look on on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Trump is headed to the Capitol tonight to deliver his first speech as president to a joint session of Congress. The speech is expected to outline budget goals and priorities.

The speech is scheduled to start at 9 p.m.; you can watch coverage starting at 8:45 p.m. here.

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