Summer Concepcion

Summer Concepcion is the front page editor of Talking Points Memo based in New York City. Previously, she covered the 2016 presidential election for Fusion and worked as a researcher at The Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. She's an LA native and former Chicago transplant. Reach her at

Articles by Summer

A day after controversial White House adviser Sebastian Gorka defended President Trump’s silence on the bombing of a Minnesota mosque, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released his own critical response.

“The President’s failure to condemn the terrorist attack on the Bloomington Islamic Center is an outrage,” Ellison said in a statement through the DNC, where he serves as deputy chair. “It suggests that his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, including the right to equal protection under the law, only extends to people who meet certain racial and religious criteria.”

Although the explosion broke windows and damaged a room at the mosque as worshippers prepared for morning prayers, nobody was found injured. The FBI is seeking suspects and has yet to determine whether it was a hate crime.

Since the attack, public outcry from local leaders continues to increase over Trump’s silence.

“Every second that goes by that he fails to address the attack shows that he is not serious about his oath,” Elllison said of Trump.

Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday, Gorka said Trump would speak out about the Minnesota attack after the conclusion of an investigation. Gorka also suggested that the incident could be a hoax, saying, “When you have people fake hate crimes in the last six months with some regularity, I think it’s wise, don’t you, to find out exactly what’s going on before you make statements, when in fact they can turn out to be not who you are expecting?”

Ellison said Gorka’s comments demonstrate what the congressman said was the administration’s “disdain for the Muslim American community.”

Ellison criticized Gorka for how his comments defending Trump serve as a distraction and demonstrate “disdain” towards Muslims.

“Even worse, Sebastian Gorka, one of Trump’s top aides, is trying with no evidence whatsoever to distract the public’s attention from the real story: that a group of Americans who were peacefully worshipping were the target of a terrorist act,” Ellison said. “By minimizing the attack and insinuating that the ‘left’ is behind this act, the Trump administration is once again showing its disdain for the Muslim American community.”

As the first Muslim elected to Congress, Ellison has faced anti-Muslim messages by Republicans in his own state. Ellison also called Trump’s move to instate a Muslim travel ban “the typical behavior of a dictator.”

As the public outcry increases over President Trump’s silence after a mosque in Minnesota was bombed, controversial White House adviser Sebastian Gorka defended the President’s decision to remain tight-lipped so far.

“When we have some kind of finalized investigation, absolutely,” Gorka said on MSNBC when host Stephanie Ruhle asked him if the White House would issue a statement on the bombing. “All initial reports are false. You have to check them, you have to find out who the perpetrators are … Let’s allow the local authorities to provide their assessment and then the White House will make its comments.”

Ruhle pressed Gorka further by pointing out how quick Trump was to comment on the recent London attack before information was confirmed.

“Sometimes an attack is unequivocally clear for what it is,” Gorka said. “When somebody shouts Allahu Akbar as they’re stabbing a police officer, it’s pretty clear it’s not a case of the mafia robbing a bank, wouldn’t you say so?”

When co-host Ali Velshi asked Gorka if he considers the bombing of a mosque as “fuzzy ground,” the White House adviser referred to “alleged hate crimes by right-wing individuals” he claimed were “propagated by the left.”

“When you have people fake hate crimes in the last six months with some regularity, I think it’s wise, don’t you, to find out exactly what’s going on before you make statements, when in fact they can turn out to be not who you are expecting?” Gorka said.

Ruhle then suggested Trump could still denounce the bombing without having to jump to conclusions on who the perpetrator is. Gorka replied that would be “fine” and he’s “sure the President will do that.”

Gorka ended the interview by refusing to give “social media advice” to Trump and urging the public to “hold your horses, count to 10, and the President will do what he deems fit.”

A controversial member of Trump’s cabinet, Gorka previously came under fire for his reported ties to anti-Semitic movements in his parents’ native Hungary and supporting a nationalist Hungarian militia, among other things.

Recently, Gorka has served as the Trump administration’s favored surrogate to spar with cable news personalities on the President’s behalf.

Watch the exchange below: