Former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and four other conservative members of Congress are charging that people with ties to Muslim extremists have infiltrated the federal government.
Sen. John McCain denounced the allegations Wednesday, calling them “sinister” and saying they “need to stop.”
Huma Abedin, the wife and ardent defender of disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, now has her own champion.
The longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at Weiner’s side as they were photographed with their child by People magazine – looking every bit the perfect young American couple when the image was published online on Wednesday.
But as she stood by her man, Abedin was under attack herself from also-ran GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and four other congressional Republicans, who leveled the accusation that she “may” be infiltrating the U.S. government for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Abedin, a Muslim-American, grew up in Saudi Arabia. She has been among Clinton’s most loyal aides for more than 15 years, and is now Clinton’s deputy chief of staff.
Bachmann’s fellow Republican, Sen. John McCain, was outraged by the allegations – calling them “ugly” and “unfounded” in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor Wednesday.
The State Department has responded to the allegations with very harsh language, calling Bachmann’s charges “vicious and disgusting lies.”
The Arizona Republican said the allegations “are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant.”
He did not mention Bachmann by name, but made his contempt for Abedin’s accusers plain.
“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,” he railed.
The Minnesota congresswoman and her fellow accusers have contacted the inspectors general at several U.S. government agencies, including the Departments of State and Homeland Security – and asked for an investigation into possible ties between American officials and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In her letter, Bachmann noted that Abedin’s late father, mother and brother are “connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations” and that Abedin “by extension may be working on the organization’s behalf.”
The letter cites a 2002 article in the Law Review at Brigham Young University that explains Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Abedin, founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs in Saudi Arabia, which was supported by another organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.