- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday that it is an “outrage” that President Trump has refused to “condemn the terrorist attack” on an Islamic center in Minnesota and even more appalling that one of his aides has floated the notion that the event is an example of “fake hate crimes.”

Mr. Ellison, who in 2007 became the first Muslim member of Congress, said that the silence from Mr. Trump following the explosion at an imam’s office on Saturday “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.”

The comment underscored concerns from Democrats and progressives activists who believe that Mr. Trump has applied a double-standard to hate crimes by jumping at the opportunity to speak out against those committed against Christians, but moves slower when Muslims are targeted.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who like Mr. Ellison is a member of the Minnesota DFL, said on Sunday that the attack on the Bloomington Islamic center is “an act of terrorism” and a hate crime.

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

The Minnesota Democrat also took aim at Sebastian Gorka’s recent assertion on MSNBC that Mr. Trump will not comment until the investigation is finalized. Mr. Ellison said Mr. Gorka 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.”

“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,” Mr. Ellison said.

Mr. Gorka said that there have been a series of alleged hate crimes in recent months that have “actually been “propagated by the left.”

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

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