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.”