White House counterterrorism advisor Sebastian Gorka said in an interview Tuesday that the reason President Trump has still not commented about the bombing of a mosque in Minnesota over the weekend is because the investigation hasn't been finalized - leaving open the possibility that the attack could have been "propagated by the left".
Nobody was injured in the attack at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, but it did cause damage to the imam's office.
Gorka added that it's possible that the explosion could have been a hoax "propagated by the left".
President Donald Trump has been holed up at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort this week as he began his 17-day vacation from the White House, but it's not as if the commander-in-chief has exactly been off the grid. Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, told BuzzFeed News. This hypocrisy must be called out.
"Will the White House be commenting on it?"
When asked who he thought was the source of recent White House leaks, Gorka responded, "I'm not going to get involved in the question of whose leaking because we have criminal referrals ... already in front of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Let's allow the local authorities to provide their assessment and then the White House will make its comments".
"The question of who does it is a question".
For the people of Minnesota, whose mosque was attacked on Saturday, however, Trump has nothing to say.
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RUHLE: You don't have to make a statement about who did it, but you can make a statement denouncing how awful it would be to attack a building of worship. The "wait and see" approach appears to be reserved for attacks on Muslims.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit organization that tracks hate crimes in the US, told Anadolu Agency the Trump administration's silence fits into its pattern in response to anti-Muslim attacks.
Whenever a Muslim commits a terrorist attack, Trump expresses outrage (and rightly so).
"That was a phrase invented by the last administration to make Americans stupid", Gorka said.
The president has a history of tweeting responses to attacks worldwide - with certain exceptions.
When a Filipino casino was attacked in June, Trump called the incident and example of "what is going on throughout the world with terror". Trump's remarks were swiftly condemned by lawmakers and foreign policy experts, who warned the president's rhetoric could aggravate the already volatile situation.
It was later revealed by authorities in the Philippines that the casino was robbed and it was not linked to terrorism.