The rabbi injured in the synagogue shooting near San Diego on Sunday raved about Donald Trump’s kind words following a telephone conversation the pair had and said the president assured him that tackling anti-Semitism was a priority of his.
Trump was “exceedingly comforting to me, my community,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein told reporters outside the Chabad of Poway synagogue a day after he was shot in both of his index fingers.
In a separate interview with MSNBC Goldstein said Trump "spoke to me like a friend, like a buddy."
Trump, said Goldstein, told him he loves Israel.
"He said, listen, I have a son-in-law who's Jewish, a daughter that's Jewish, I have grandchildren that are Jewish. I love Israel, we're going to do whatever we can to protect the Jewish people of United States of America and abroad."
“It was the highlight of the day after everything I've been through to hear from the president himself to be so comforting and consoling. It meant a lot to our community, meant a lot to me,” he added.
“He was exceedingly kind and sensitive. We spoke for close to 15 minutes. I thought to myself, for the President of the United States of America to take time out of his day to talk to me about the issues at hand was just absolutely incredible and admirable."
Trump called the rabbi "very special" in a tweet early Monday, saying:
"I spoke at length yesterday to Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Chabad of Poway, where I extended my warmest condolences to him and all affected by the shooting in California. What a great guy. He had a least one finger blown off, and all he wanted to do is help others. Very special!"
Goldstein founded the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California, which was targeted by a 19-year-old gunman armed with an assault-style weapon who wrote a manifesto of hate against Jewish people.
Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, died after shielding Goldstein from the bullets. Three others were injured in the shooting, which happened on the final day of Passover. A suspect was taken into custody.
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