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Trump Bemoans That Pittsburgh Shooter, Pipe Bomber Stopped GOP's 'Tremendous Momentum' in Midterms

U.S. president tells crowd at Missouri rally that 'two maniacs' stopped the Republican party's momentum ahead of the midterms

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a campaign rally in Columbia, Missouri, November 1, 2018.
Charlie Riedel,AP

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter and the mail bomber, who sent at least a dozen parcel bombs to Democratic targets and CNN headquarters, "stopped a tremendous momentum" for Republicans ahead of the midterms.

"We have gotten tremendous numbers, tremendous numbers of Republicans are going out to vote. Now, we did have two maniacs stop a momentum that was incredible," Trump told the crowd at a rally in Columbia, Missouri.

"Because for seven days, nobody talked about the elections. It stopped a tremendous momentum," Trump continued.

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President Trump connects Pittsburgh shooting and mail bomber to loss of momentum.

Robert Bowers yelled "All Jews must die" before opening fire and killing 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday. Bowers had made anti-Semitic comments online and expressed anger at a Jewish group which helped refugees.

"More importantly, we have to take care of our people, and we don’t care about momentum when it comes to a disgrace like just happened to the country," Trump said at the rally. "But it did nevertheless stop a certain momentum. And now the momentum is picking up. It's picked up based on common sense. It's picked up based on strong borders," he said.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, was arrested last week and charged on five federal accounts with connections to mail bombs sent to George Soros, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN and several other high-profile Democrats.

Sayoc is a registered Republican in Florida and has been linked to social media accounts containing anti-Democratic and pro-Trump rhetoric.

The 46-year-old has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that could put him on death row. 

Bowers has been charged in a 44-count indictment accusing him with murder, hate crimes, obstructing the practice of religion and other crimes. He is also charged with injuring four police officers, some during a gunfight before his arrest.