Poway Rabbi: President Trump Was So Gracious, Generous, Comforting

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Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, a survivor from the shooting on Saturday at the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California talks to MSNBC's Kasie Hunt about his phone call with President Trump.

"He was so gracious and generous with his words. Exceedingly comforting to me, my community. He spoke to me like a friend, like a buddy," Rabbi Goldstein said.





"And we spoke about anti-Semitism. And I asked him, Mr. President, what are you doing about anti-Semitism in the United States of America? And he was very generous in explaining that he has made it as a priority."

"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 the United States of America and abroad," he said.

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC: I know you said earlier you spoke with President Trump in the wake of this tragedy. What did the president have to say to you and what are you asking him to do to try to make sure something like this never happens again?

RABBI YISROEL GOLDSTEIN: I was totally in awe and shock to receive a call from the White House. I thought it may have been a prank call to me, someone trying to lift up my spirits. And then our president took the phone, and I recognized it was really him. And I've never spoken to a president before.

He was so gracious and generous with his words. Exceedingly comforting to me, my community. He spoke to me like a friend, like a buddy. I didn't realize I'm talking to the president of the United States of America. He was just 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 absolutely incredible and admirable.

And we spoke about anti-Semitism. And I asked him, Mr. President, what are you doing about anti-Semitism in the United States of America? And he was very generous in explaining that he has made it as a priority.

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 the 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.

And I also spoke to him about the concept of the moment of silence. And he was very, very taken by that concept of reintroducing to public schools about having a moment of silence. And I hope he will take it to the next level because we have -- something has to change. We have to do something about this. And we got to start it from early childhood education because that's where it all starts. And if the families at home and in the schools teach to children to respect God and to respect each other as human beings and to be accountable for your actions, your thoughts, and your speech, perhaps children will grow up with a lot clearer morals and ethics.

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC: Rabbi Goldstein, thank you for your time tonight. We appreciate hearing from you and our thoughts and prayers are, of course, with your congregation and those who were also wounded. So thank you.

RABBI GOLDSTEIN: Well, thank you so very much for giving me the opportunity to share my story. Just like I will never forget this day, I'll never forget the kindness of all the Christians and the Catholics and the Protestants and all religions who really rallied around us. And it meant a lot to us to see in this generation such wonderful unity amongst all faiths to truly demonstrate how we'll win. God willing I'll heal well and others injured will heal well and we pray and hope for better times in the whole world.

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