Aboard Air Force One
En Route Washington, D.C.
7:47 P.M. EDT
MS. SANDERS: It’s on the record, but don’t use the audio, and not on camera. It’s not for broadcast. I’m — just because my notes are a little rough here, I just wanted to get you guys something before we got in. I’ll go through each stop.
So in the synagogue, the President met with Rabbi Myers. They light the Yahrzeit candles. Eleven — one for each of the individuals. The rabbi walked through the history of the church, and walked the President and the First Lady through a lot of the detail of what happened on the day. He talked about the bravery — the rabbi talked a lot about the bravery of the law enforcement.
The President was incredibly impressed by the rabbi — absolutely incredible man. The President was very moved by the visit and the time with the rabbi. He called it “very humbling and very sad.”
The second stop, he was at the hospital. In the first room that he came to, he met with the three members of the law enforcement who had been discharged, and a number of the members of the medical staff, the doctors, and nurses who treated the individuals as they came in — the list that you guys have. And their families were there as well.
From there, he went to the ICU to one of the first responders who had been shot seven times. He was there with his family.
Q What’s his name?
MS. SANDERS: I’ll send you the name in just a second. I just have these notes.
The President was incredibly moved by the man in ICU, and also how supportive all of the law enforcement members were of one another.
From there, he moved on and spent about an hour with the widow of Dr. Richard Gottfried. I believe her name is Peg Gottfried, but I’ll double check and make sure I have that correct, and send you the actual spellings on both of those names. She said that she wanted to meet the President to let him know that people wanted him there. And again, he spent about an hour talking with her.
And Congressman Rothfus — Keith Rothfus — was there with him. Said he was — the President was very impressed by the compassion that the congressman showed.
He said it was a great honor to be in Pittsburgh with the First Lady, to be with such incredible people who had shown such bravery.
Q Did they end up saying the prayer that you had mentioned before?
MS. SANDERS: I’ll get the specifics on that. I know they did say a prayer while they were there.
Q So the only family member he met with was this widow of Dr. Gottfried?
MS. SANDERS: She was the one — the only one there at the hospital.
Q At the top, you — what were the candles called? I’m sorry.
MS. SANDERS: I’ll send you the exact spelling. I was going to say —
Q Thank you.
MS. SANDERS: I wrote it out phonetically. And again, I’ll send you the spelling of the names.
Q The stones are from the White House, you said earlier? Where are they from in the White House or —
MS. SANDERS: I know they were from one of the White House gardens.
Q And were the flowers also from the White House, or were they like from a florist? Do you know?
MS. SANDERS: They were from the White House.
Q So you’ll get back to us with the —
MS. SANDERS: I’ll send you the spellings of all the names.
Q — the spellings, and what prayer they said at the (inaudible).
MS. SANDERS: Yeah.
Q And he described it as a “very humbling” —
MS. SANDERS: “Very sad and very moving.”
Q Can you discuss a little bit the planning that went into this? We saw Jason Greenblatt and Avi Berkowitz are here, and they got here Sunday. What has been sort of the White House outreach over the last 72 — what has been the White House outreach over the last 72 hours to the families?
MS. SANDERS: Primarily, it has been coordinated through the rabbi, and worked mostly through him to sort of determine the plan of the day.
Q Can you say why the President wanted to come on this particular day, given that he was asked to wait by some of the local officials and some of the —
MS. SANDERS: He was also asked to come by some. Look, the President wanted to show his respect on behalf of the entire country. And to represent the country in this moment. And be there to show our support.
Q At the vestibule where the President was, was there any evidence of the shooting or anything that the President saw —
MS. SANDERS: I’m not aware of that detail.
Q Did he have any response to being —
MS. SANDERS: I know that a lot of the FBI members that are here on site leading the investigation met them there, and he shook hands with those that were investigating as he went into the area.
Q Did he? Okay.
MS. SANDERS: If I have anything else, I’ll let you guys know.
Q Sarah, was the President familiar with the biographies of all the people that were killed?
MS. SANDERS: I know he got an update on the individuals. I don’t know how much depth, but I know the rabbi talked a lot about the individuals in the time that they spent together and walked through the events of the day in their time both in the vestibule and outside.
Q Did you get any sort of readout of the time that he spent with the widow? Was it mostly — did they talk about the actual event? Did they talk about her husband?
MS. SANDERS: Beyond what I said, I don’t have anything else at this point.
Q Is there a reason we haven’t heard from the President directly today, in terms of delivering a message combating anti-Semitism or hate or any other acts of violence like this?
MS. SANDERS: Look, the President has been very clear on that and spoken on it a number of times. He wanted today to be about showing respect for the families and the friends of the victims, as well as for Jewish Americans.
All right. If I have anything else, I send you — and I’ll send you the details of the prayer and the names. Thanks.
7:53 P.M. EDT