Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is under fire for her claims that a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Republican Sen. John McCain came to the defense of Huma Abedin, chastising Bachmann and four other GOP colleagues for the "unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant."
McCain didn't name names during his Senate floor speech on Wednesday, July 18. But he referenced a letter Bachmann and others wrote last month demanding an investigation into whether Abedin and other State Department officials were trying to influence U.S. foreign policy to help the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes."
"When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it," McCain said.
Bachmann elaborated on her allegations in a July 13 letter to fellow Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison. She said Abedin's mother, brother and late father are connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations, citing foreign media reports as her source.
Bachmann wrote that she wanted to know why Abedin, Clinton's deputy chief of staff, was able to avoid being disqualified for security clearance.
"Her position affords her routine access to the
secretary and policy-making," Bachmann wrote.
The Congresswoman said Wednesday that her letters are being "distorted" and encourages everyone to read them in their entirety.
"The intention of the letters was to outline the serious national security concerns I had and ask for answers to questions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical groups' access to top Obama administration officials," Bachmann said in a statement.
Ellison said in a letter to Bachmann on Wednesday that her 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."
"As the revered journalist Edward R. Murrow once said, 'We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law,'" Ellison wrote.
Abedin has been a longtime Clinton aide, working for Clinton when she was a New York senator and presidential candidate. Abedin is married to former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York, who resigned last year after he sent lewd pictures of himself to women via Twitter.
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