Rep. Keith EllisonKeith EllisonMinnesota AG ups charges against ex-police officer in shooting of Daunte Wright Trump campaign, RNC refund donors another .8 million in 2021: NYT Attorneys general looking into online fundraising practices MORE (D-Minn.) said late Monday that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE’s remarks about the 9/11 terrorist attacks could provoke violence between everyday Americans.
“He’s whipping up hatred to scapegoat a minority religious group, which has some very dangerous precedents,” he said of Trump’s claims that thousands of Muslim Americans cheered the 2001 massacre in New York City.
“I mean, it’s the kind of behavior [that is] classic demagoguery, and you know, he’s going to get somebody hurt,” Ellison told host Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s “All In.”
“I don’t suppose he cares much, but it should be the kind of behavior that is denounced,” the Minnesota congressman added.
“The thing that scares me is that the more he says outrageous things, inflammatory things, [it] doesn’t seem to cost him in terms of support, which makes me a little bit worried about the people who support him.”
Ellison then argued that Trump’s harsh rhetoric against particular subcultures increases tension and discord nationwide.
“I think to myself, ‘I don’t like this, the way [this] is going,’” he said when asked his opinion of the outspoken billionaire’s popularity.
“What I mean is that when leaders who have a national platform whip up hate and hysteria against a particular group, particularly a religious group or a minority religious group that is not popular, the people that are mentally unstable or motivated by hate come out of the woodwork,” continued Ellison, who is a Mulsim African-American.
“You see desecrations of buildings that are associated with that group, you see assaults, you see murders, you see things happen,” he added.
“There’s actually a fairly significant track record of this kind of thing, and I think that it really demonstrates how much of an anti-leader he really is.”
Trump began arguing last weekend that large numbers of Muslim Americans celebrated the World Trade Center’s fall during the 9/11 attacks.
He has since repeatedly defended his recollection of the incident, boasting late Monday that he has “the world’s greatest memory.”
The New York business mogul’s claims have inspired condemnation from both the media and other White House hopefuls.
The Anti-Defamation League, for example, called Trump’s account “factually challenged” last weekend.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also criticized the Republican’s version of events Monday.
“I don’t know where Mr. Trump gets his evidence,” the Democratic presidential candidate said.
“What I get concerned about is this growth of Islamophobia in this country, this desire to win by scapegoating a group of people, which is not what America is supposed to be about,” Sanders continued. "Donald Trump should not be president of the United States.
“There’s nothing more that I would enjoy than the chance to take on Donald Trump and to expose the many fabrications that he has brought forth."