Latest update: July 22nd, 2012
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is making fresh allegations of ties between an Islamist movement and vast parts of the U.S. government—this time Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Min), the first Muslim-American elected to Congress—even as Bachmann’s fellow Republicans increasingly condemn her calls to investigate the Brotherhood’s influence, the Minnesota St. Cloud Times reported Thursday.
Among the suspected agents named in the letter was Huma Abedin, a deputy chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and wife of Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former House member from New York. The letter asserted that three of Abedin’s family members are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and that Clinton’s office has “taken actions recently that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is an international Islamist movement that recently came to power in Egypt, which some say maintains ties to terror groups such as Hamas.
Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain took to the Senate floor to condemn a letter sent to inspectors general of several federal agencies by Bachmann and four other Republicans in the House of Representatives, in which the congresswoman suggested that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has made “deep penetration” into the federal government and that those agencies should launch an investigation to uncover the influence of the group’s agents.
In an interview with radio host Glenn Beck Thursday, Bachmann said Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, “has a long record of being associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Ellison refuted those allegations in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, saying he has no ties to the movement. He also released the following letter in response to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s 16-page letter, saying: “A careful review of your 16-page response reveals that you fail to provide any credible evidence for your claims, engage in guilt by association, and continue to rely on discredited sources.”
Ellison added: “If Bachmann has sources for this type of information, she owes it to the country to reveal them to the proper authorities, but definitely not this way. If she doesn’t have this type of information, she should not be whipping up fear and hysteria about a very important matter.”
“It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann told the St. Cloud Times, a Minnesota newspaper. “It appears that there are individuals who are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have positions, very sensitive positions, in our Department of Justice, our Department of Homeland Security, potentially even in the National Intelligence Agency.”
Cosigning the letters were Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert, (R-Texas), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.).
At the Senate on Wednesday, McCain (R-Ariz.) called Bachmann’s claims “specious and degrading,” according to reports.
House Speaker John Boehner joined the ranks of congressional Republicans denouncing Bachmann and the four other lawmakers about Huma Abedin. Boehner said that while he doesn’t know Abedin personally, “from everything I do know of her, she has a sterling character, and I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.”
JTA contributed to this report.
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