The “small” protest he referenced was actually made up of about 2,000 people.
Trump followed up with another tweet later Wednesday in which he urged voters to back Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.) in next week’s midterm elections because of the “inspiring” compassion he showed for victims of the shooting.
“Yesterday in Pittsburgh I was really impressed with Congressman Keith Rothfus (far more so than any other local political figure),” Trump said. “His sincere level of compassion, grief and sorrow for the events that took place was, in its own way, very inspiring. Vote for Keith!”
Eleven people were killed in Saturday’s shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The suspect, Robert Bowers, was charged Wednesday in a 44-count hate-crime indictment; he is alleged to have proclaimed inside the synagogue that he wanted to “kill Jews.”
Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh on Tuesday prompted criticism from residents and frustration among some local officials who had asked him to stay away until after the victims were buried.
Mayor Bill Peduto (D) had urged Trump not to visit, saying that “all attention [Tuesday] should be on the victims.” The White House had asked the top four congressional leaders to accompany Trump to Pittsburgh, but all declined.
Some lawmakers on Wednesday panned Trump’s tweets as inappropriate.
“There’s a time and a place for everything Mr. President,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted.