Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison claimed Monday night that President Trump’s rhetoric is “green-lighting ugly and hate” and tied the president’s rhetoric and travel ban to a deadly attack by a Bernie Sanders supporter in Portland last month.
Ellison also claimed that two rallies in the nation’s capital last weekend, the “Freedom of Speech Rally” and the “Rally Against Political Violence” were “white supremacist rallies” inspired by Trump’s rhetoric. The latter rally was planned after some participants objected to the participation of white nationalist Richard Spencer in the “Freedom of Speech Rally.” (RELATED: Top Democratic Donor Says Keith Ellison ‘Clearly An Anti-Semite’)
“This last weekend, there were two white supremacist rallies, one was at the White House, the other was at the Lincoln Memorial,” Ellison said on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” while speaking about Trump’s travel ban, parts of which the Supreme Court allowed to take effect on Monday.
“I believe the rhetoric of the president is fueling some of the ugliest, most pernicious elements in our society. He is green-lighting ugly and hate and some of these folks are getting aggressive and we know about what happened in Portland a few weeks ago,” said Ellison, who also serves as the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee. “My take is that there is more than simply this ban at stake. It is the culture and climate of our society.” (RELATED: Keith Ellison Once Said Black People Don’t Have ‘Obligation’ To Obey Government)
Ellison appeared to be referencing the attack on a Portland train by Jeremy Christian last month, who killed two men and wounded another after drunkenly shouting anti-Muslim slurs against two Muslim women on the train. Although some liberals have attempted to tie Christian’s attack to Trump, the killer’s Facebook page showed he was a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who chose to abstain from voting over supporting either Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Ellison continued on to blame comments Trump made as a presidential candidate for creating a “culture of incivility.” (RELATED: Nebraska Democrat Caught Saying He Wished Steve Scalise Had Died)
“When the president says ‘punch them in the face,’ ‘carry them out on a stretcher,’ he creates a culture of incivility which sort of lets anybody who is loosely hinged to reality go off the rails,” Ellison charged, adding: “I will tell you that the head of state ought to counsel civility, ought to tell people we won’t allow problems to be solved with guns and street violence. That’s what the president should be doing.”