Politicians from both sides of the aisle attacked Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., over her recent allegations that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the U.S. State Department.
Bachmann refused to back down from her allegations that Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an international Islamic political party that recently took power in Egypt.
“These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members of Huma’s family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United States in any way,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in a speech on the Senate floor. Denouncing Bachmann, McCain said, “These attacks have no logic, no basis, and no merit and they need to stop. They need to stop now.”
Bachmann has become the focal point of a firestorm that began when she and four other members of the House of Representatives sent letters to five federal agencies demanding an investigation into an alleged conspiracy by the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamic groups to insinuate themselves into the U.S. government.
Bachmann was joined in her letter by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla.; and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.
Bachmann bolstered her claim by citing a report from anti-Muslim think-tanker Frank Gaffney, who served as a foreign policy adviser to Bachmann during her presidential campaign. The report claimed that Abedin’s mother, brother, and late father had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making,” the letter from the representatives said. “We believe these actions and policies are deeply problematic.”
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to congress, castigated Bachmann for her attacks.
“This is one of those moments when you can’t stay silent,” said Ellison in a CNN interview. “This is McCarthyism at its worst.”
Bachmann said Wednesday that the letter was “unfairly being distorted.”
“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 group’s access to top Obama administration officials,” Bachmann said, according to a report by the New York Times. She also raised concerns about the State Department’s decision to grant a visa to an Egyptian member of parliament with membership in Gamaa Islamiya, a group designated as a foreign terrorist group.
“This is just the latest example of the dangerous national security decisions made by the Obama administration,” Bachmann continued. “I will not be silent as this administration appeases our enemies instead of telling the truth about the threats our country faces.”
Bachmann is no stranger to controversy. In 2008, she told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that then-Sen. Barack Obama was “very anti-American,” and said that the media should investigate members of Congress to see if they were “pro-America or anti-America.” In 2009, Bachmann alleged that the U.S. could be moving away from using the dollar as its currency. And in 2005, Bachmann, then a state senator, claimed that she had been “terrorized” and “held against her will” by pro-gay rights activists who approached her in a restroom to talk about policy.
Bachmann is running for re-election in Minnesota’s newly-redrawn 6th Congressional District. Bachmann is opposed by AmericInn Hotel founder Jim Graves.
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore