Sebastian Gorka, a White House national security adviser, defended President Donald Trump’s silence on an explosion at a Minnesota mosque by suggesting it could have been a fake hate crime “propagated by the left.”
When asked on MSNBC Tuesday why Trump had yet to publicly comment on the Saturday incident, Gorka said the president wants to wait until he learns more about it. Trump, though, often is quick to comment on other attacks, particularly those carried out by Muslims.
“When we have some kind of finalized investigation, absolutely,” Gorka said of whether Trump would respond to the bombing at the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. He then suggested the attack could have been a “fake” hate crime.
“There’s a great rule: All initial reports are false,″ Gorka said. “You have to check them and find out who the perpetrators are. We’ve had a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes, by right-wing individuals in the last six months, that turned out to actually have been propagated by the left.”
“So let’s wait and see,” he said. “Let’s allow the local authorities to provide their assessment, and then the White House will make its comments.”
No one was injured in the blast that occurred at about 5 a.m. as a few congregants gathered for morning prayers. The FBI is investigating the attack, which Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) declared “a criminal act of terrorism” as he visited the site on Sunday.
In June, Trump immediately seized on a terror attack in London, using it to promote his travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries and lashing out at the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.
Gorka on Tuesday claimed that Trump commented swiftly in that case because the attack was “unequivocally clear for what it is.”
Of the explosion at the Minnesota mosque, Gorka said, “People fake hate crimes.”
“The question of who does it is a question, when you’ve had people fake hate crimes with some regularity in the last six months,” Gorka reiterated. He cited no specific examples.
Host Stephanie Ruhle pointed out that Trump could simply denounce the mosque attack. “You don’t have to make a statement about who did it, but you can make a public statement denouncing how terrible it would be to attack a building of worship,” she told Gorka.
“That’s fine, and I’m sure the president will do that,” he responded.
When Ruhle noted that on Twitter, Trump’s usual medium for communication, the president has spent the week mostly tweeting insults and accusations, Gorka said to wait.
“Just hold your horses, count to 10, and the president will do what he deems fit,” Gorka said.
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