Muslim lawmaker: Cruz must stand up to Trump
© Anne Wernikoff

Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonOfficers in George Floyd's death appear in court, motion for separate trials Ex-Minneapolis officer involved in Floyd death asks judge to dismiss murder charge Over 50 current, former law enforcement professionals sign letter urging Congress to decriminalize marijuana MORE (D-Minn.) said Wednesday that Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish Trump argues full Supreme Court needed to settle potential election disputes MORE (R-Texas) should denounce fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE for suggesting a ban on Muslim entry into the U.S.

“This is the moment we’re in and I don’t accept Senator Cruz saying, ‘Well, I’m not going to pile on, I don’t really agree,’” Ellison said on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”

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“No, this is the moment when real integrity is on the line,” added Ellison, the nation’s first Muslim lawmaker in Congress.

“People have to step up and say that persecuting a religious minority and scapegoating them is absolutely unacceptable.”

Ellison said Muslim Americans are troubled by Trump’s rhetoric.

“People are very concerned,” he told Mitchell. "It’s obviously something that’s frightening [and] worrisome. Many are wondering, ‘Will our responsible leaders denounce this much the same way that [former President] George W. Bush did right after 9/11 when fear of backlash was ever-present?'  

“I’m concerned about the people who support [Trump]. He’s offering them absolutely nothing other than hate. He’s not trying to solve the problems of the American people.”

Cruz said Tuesday that he opposes Trump’s ban, but has no interest in attacking the GOP front-runner.

“I disagree with that proposal,” Cruz told reporters at the U.S. Capitol.

“A lot of our friends here have encouraged me to criticize and attack Donald Trump,” Cruz said. "I’m not interested in doing so.

“I recognize that a great many folks in the media would prefer that anyone running for president would engage as an ongoing theater critic,” the Texas lawmaker added. “Certainly in the media there has been no shortage of criticism for Donald Trump and I do not believe the world needs my voice added to that chorus of critics.”

Trump proposed a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslim immigration last Monday.

Most of Trump’s Republican rivals have criticized the idea as impractical and unconstitutional.

The GOP’s leadership in Congress and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus have also condemned the suggestion.