Another Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy Theorist Becomes A Trump Adviser

Another Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy Theorist Becomes A Trump Adviser

››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is now advising Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, adding to the list of Trump influencers who have peddled the right-wing media conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a “Muslim Brotherhood” operative. Bachmann, who formally requested a federal investigation into Abedin and others in the federal government, joins conspiracy theory-spouting Trump associates Stephen Bannon, Sean Hannity, and Roger Stone.

Michele Bachmann Announces She’s Advising Trump On Foreign Policy

Michele Bachmann Says She Is Advising Trump On Foreign Policy. Former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced on Sunday that she will be the newest foreign policy adviser for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. During her announcement, Bachmann praised Trump’s understanding of the “threat around the world … of radical Islam.” From The Hill:  

Tea Party firebrand Michele Bachmann says she is advising Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on foreign policy.

The former Minnesota congresswoman attended a fundraiser in the state for Trump on Saturday, where she revealed to the press that she has his ear on foreign policy.

“He also recognizes there is a threat around the world, not just here in Minnesota, of radical Islam,” she said, according to MPR News. “I wish our President Obama also understood the threat of radical Islam and took it seriously.”

[...]

Bachmann is already part of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, providing “support” to Trump on “issues important to Evangelicals and other people of faith in America.” [The Hill, 8/21/16]

Like Other Advisers, Bachmann Has Pushed Conspiracy Theories Connecting U.S. Government And Muslim Brotherhood

In 2012, Bachmann Accused Clinton Advisor Huma Abedin Of “Infiltrat[ing]” The Government As A Muslim Brotherhood Extremist. While serving in Congress in 2012, Bachmann claimed that Huma Abedin, an aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was a potential Muslim Brotherhood agent in a letter sent to “top intelligence and security officials.” Bachmann and several of her Republican colleagues highlighted a supposed connection between Abedin’s family and the group, warning that the Muslim Brotherhood may have “infiltrated top levels of U.S. government.” From CBSNews.com:

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.

[...]

Bachmann, from Minnesota, and the four other representatives sent letters to top intelligence and security officials last week warning that the Muslim Brotherhood, a global religious Islamic movement whose members have been linked to terrorist groups in the past, may have infiltrated the top levels of U.S. government.

They pointed the finger first at Abedin, who is deputy chief of staff to Secretary Clinton and has been one of her closest aides for nearly two decades. Abedin, who was born in the U.S. and is of Pakistani descent, has been described by both Hillary and former President Bill Clinton as a daughter.

But Bachmann and the others wrote, "Huma Abedin has three family members -- her late father, her mother and her brother -- connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations." [CBSNews.com, 7/19/12]

Fox’s Sean Hannity: Michele Bachmann Is A “Modern Day Paul Revere” For Writing Muslim Brotherhood Letter. Fox News host Sean Hannity -- who The New York Times recently reported is advising Trump -- praised Michele Bachmann and her colleagues in 2012 for the letter claiming Abedin may be a Muslim Brotherhood agent who is infiltrating the government. Hannity claimed that based on the “evidence,” Bachmann and others raising the flag look like “modern day Paul Reveres.” From the July 26, 2012, edition of ABC Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show:

SEAN HANNITY: Michele Bachmann’s under heavy fire right now, and by the way, it's ticking me off. Because it's not just Democrats. It’s John McCain, it’s John Boehner, attacking Michele Bachmann and three other house Republicans, and Louie Gohmert, who called for an investigation into radical Islamic infiltration, potentially, in the Obama administration. And they’re starting to look like modern day Paul Reveres in one sense based on the new evidence that we’re getting. [Media Matters, 7/26/12]

Trump Adviser Roger Stone Suggested Abedin Could Be A “Terrorist Agent.” Informal Trump adviser Roger Stone predicted Islamic terrorism will be central to the 2016 election during an interview with Breitbart News, specifically because of Abedin. Stone claimed Abedin came “out of nowhere” and that “we have to ask: Do we have a Saudi spy in our midst? Do we have a terrorist agent?” Stone went on to say Trump should ask a “series of questions publicly” about Abedin. From a June 13 Politico article:

In the wake of Sunday's deadly terrorist shooting in Orlando, Donald Trump's longtime friend and informal adviser wants the presumptive Republican nominee to hit Hillary Clinton even harder, suggesting the former secretary of state's top aide Huma Abedin could be a "Saudi spy" or a "terrorist agent."

Only Trump, Roger Stone said on Sirius XM's "Breitbart News Daily," will be able to draw the necessary amount of attention to the theories, which have drawn significant blowback from Democrats and Republicans alike.

“I also think that now that Islamic terrorism is going to be front and center, there’s going to be a new focus on whether this administration, the administration of Hillary Clinton at State was permeated at the highest levels by Saudi intelligence and others who are not loyal Americans," Stone said. "I speak specifically of Huma Abedin, the right-hand woman, now vice-chairman or co-chairman of vice—of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign."

[...]

Stone on Monday claimed Abedin can be directly tied to two global charities directly financed by the Saudi government that were "in turn were being used by Bin Laden to finance his operations."

"So, and the Bush administration, I think, bent over backwards to expose none of this. That continued under Obama. She has a very troubling past. She comes out of nowhere. She seems to have an enormous amount of cash, even prior to the time that she goes to work for Hillary," Stone continued. "So we have to ask: Do we have a Saudi spy in our midst? Do we have a terrorist agent? I mean, I went back and checked this last night. Several media organizations, including The Atlantic report that it was she and Cheryl Mills who went through every one of Hillary’s emails to determine what should be preserved and what should be destroyed. That would mean, by definition, that she had access to top-secret documents. Who is this woman? Where did she come from? I think that is going to be a major, major issue. And what is her relationship with Hillary Clinton? I think that all gets adjudicated in this campaign.”

Stone later said he would "like to see Donald Trump ask a series of questions publicly about Huma and her relationship." [Politico, 6/13/16]

Stone Called Abedin A Potential “Saudi Spy.” In a later interview with Breitbart News, Stone claimed the “experts” he had spoken to “conclude that [Abedin] is most likely a Saudi spy.” Stone agreed with this conclusion, citing Abedin’s background and “various connections.” From the June 15 interview on SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Daily:

STEPHEN BANNON (HOST): Roger, do you think there’s a fifth column here in the United States, both in the media and in the government, a fifth column that is bought and paid for by our enemies?

ROGER STONE: Well, the Saudis certainly have been well-known for spreading money around. They are the quintessential influence peddlers. They understand how Washington works, so it’s entirely possible. Most of the experts I look at, I’ve spoken to, looking at the various facts regarding Huma and her rise, where she came from, her family background, her various connections, conclude that she is most likely a Saudi spy, which is my own conclusion. [Media Matters, 6/15/16]

Trump Campaign CEO Steve Bannon: "I Still Can't Figure Out How [Abedin] Got Security Clearance." Trump campaign chief executive Stephen Bannon invited Stone on Breitbart News’ radio show to push conspiracy theories about Abedin, and Stone claimed that it “is a fact” that Abedin is involved with a group that funded the 9/11 attack. From the July 5 edition of SirusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Daily:

STEPHEN BANNON (HOST): You’ve got more breaking news on Huma Abedin. By the way, Roger, I still can’t figure out how she got the security clearance. Can you help me out here?

ROGER STONE: It’s very, very hard to understand because of her ties to the Muslim World League, and the league’s ties to extremism and to terrorism, to an organization, a trust, which funded the actual attack on America on 9/11 are inexorable. This is a fact; this isn’t fiction. [Media Matters, 8/17/16]

Bannon Has Repeatedly Pushed Different Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracies. Bannon spent the last two months using his daily Breitbart News radio show to project an imaginary map of conspiracy theories that link the Muslim Brotherhood to Clinton, Tim Kaine, and Obama White House officials. [Media Matters, 8/18/16]

Right-Wing Media Echoed Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy Theory

Washington Times Columnist Frank Gaffney: Bachmann Is Providing "Fearless And Visionary Leadership" In Opposing The Muslim Brotherhood. Frank Gaffney, Washington Times colunist and leader of the anti-Muslim group the Center for Security Policy, lauded Bachmann for the "fearless and visionary leadership she is providing in opposing Shariah's most formidable champions, The Muslim Brotherhood." Gaffney went on to defend Bachmann over her Muslim Brotherhood allegations, claiming she was the subject of a "character assassination." From Gaffney's July 23, 2012, Washington Times column:

Fortunately, it turns out that as we confront our time's most imminent threat to freedom, we have found America's Iron Lady: Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Her Thatcheresque qualities are evident in the fearless and visionary leadership she is providing in opposing Shariah's most formidable champions, the Muslim Brotherhood.

[...]

At the moment, Mrs. Bachmann is not facing mere name-calling but outright character assassination. She has been singled out for special treatment despite the fact that she was one of five members of Congress (the others were Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Trent Franks of Arizona, Lynn A. Westmoreland of Georgia and Thomas J. Rooney of Florida) who had the temerity to send to the federal inspector general formal requests for investigations into Muslim Brotherhood influence operations inside our government. That's a threat every bit as dangerous as the communist subversion of a generation ago.

It is, of course, no accident that Mrs. Bachmann is being subjected to such vilification by the Islamists, their allies on the left and in the establishment media's amen chorus. As a principled, articulate and wildly popular Tea Party leader and conservative, she is a prime target for electoral defeat by her political foes. These include her fellow Minnesotan, Rep. Keith Ellison, the "first Muslim congressman," who launched the initial attack on our Iron Lady. More on him in a moment.

Regrettably, the Minnesota congresswoman has also been criticized by figures in her own party. Some defended one of the individuals identified in the five legislators’ letter to the State Department’s inspector general: Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Others seem determined to deflect or at least deny the problem of which she appears to be but one example and a symptom: There are individuals with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood inside or at least influencing the White House, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Departments of Justice, Defense and Homeland Security, as well as Foggy Bottom.

[...]

With respect to efforts to dismiss as dangerous or baseless concerns about a possible, far larger problem with individuals who have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood shaping U.S. policy toward that organization and enabling its rising power, what can one say? There is abundant evidence that indicates such concerns are warranted. Until the critics -- on Capitol Hill, in the media and elsewhere -- perform the sort of due diligence that has characterized the approach taken by Mrs. Bachmann and her colleagues, their authority on the matter must be questioned. [The Washington Times, 7/23/12]

Gaffney: Abedin’s Connections To Muslim Brotherhood Are “Well-Documented.” In a Breitbart News article outlining the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's alleged “Muslim Brotherhood problem,” Frank Gaffney theorized that U.S. national interests have been betrayed because of Clinton’s relationship with Abedin, who Gaffney claimed has her own “well-documented, personal … ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.” From the March 29 article:  

Unfortunately, Mrs. Clinton has all-too-often been an enthusiastic supporter of those like Muslim Public Affairs Council president Salam al-Marayati as they seek to dominate their fellow Muslims (notably in places like Egypt, Libya and Syria) and subvert the United States and the rest of the Free World with what the Brothers call “civilization jihad.”

This serious betrayal of U.S. national interests has surely been encouraged by Clinton’s association with and reliance upon Huma Abedin, a woman with her own, well-documented personal and family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Huma’s involvement as a chief lieutenant to Mrs. Clinton going back to Hillary’s days as First Lady has undoubtedly contributed to the latter’s affinity for the organization. [Breitbart News, 3/29/16]

TheBlaze: Abedin “Appears To Have Family Ties To The Muslim Brotherhood.” In a 2012 article attempting to show how close President Obama is to the Muslim Brotherhood, TheBlaze’s Tiffany Gabbay claimed Abedin has familial ties to the extremist group, specifically through her mother and her brother. From the April 2012 article:

Huma Abedin, Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

Perhaps most famous for being wife of the disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin appears to have family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. In an interview with FrontPageMag, anti-Islamist author Walid Shoebat explained that Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, is involved with the Muslim Brotherhood and that Huma’s brother, Hassan, sits in on the board of the Oxford Centre For Islamic Studies (OCIS) where he is a fellow and partners with other board members including “Al-Qaeda associate, Omar Naseef and the notorious Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi; both have been listed as OCIS Trustees.” [TheBlaze, 4/26/12]

Rush Limbaugh Defended Bachmann's Call For Muslim Brotherhood Investigation As "A Legitimate Request." On the July 23, 2012, edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh defended Bachmann's charge that Abedin be investigated for ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, calling it "a legitimate request":

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Well recently, Michele Bachmann and other Republicans sent a letter to the State Department expressing concerns -- I'm really summarizing this part of it -- expressing concern over the presence of Huma Abedin, so close to the powers that be in our government. She's Hillary Clinton's, one of her top-level aides.

[...]

But Huma's mother is best friends with the wife of the new Muslim Brotherhood president Egypt. And there is essentially a Muslim sisterhood that she's a member of. And Huma's father was also likewise involved.

So Michele Bachmann and others have written a letter to the State Department wanting some clarification, wanting an investigation to find out if -- because the Muslim Brotherhood is not what they are portrayed to be, the Muslim Brotherhood is not the -- what's the best way to put this? They're not, you know, the good mafia. The Muslim Brotherhood is being portrayed as a bunch of secularists, mainstream, non-radical, and Andy says no they're not. They are right down the middle as radical as anybody else in Jihad. And so it's a legitimate request from Michele Bachmann. [Media Matters, 7/23/12]

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy Supported Bachmann’s Accusations Against Abedin. National Review contributing editor Andrew McCarthy wrote a column headlined “Huma Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood Ties” defending Bachmann’s “right to ask questions” about the Clinton aide. McCarthy claimed that ever since Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state began with Abedin at her side, “the United States has aligned itself with the Muslim Brotherhood in myriad ways.” From McCarthy’s July 25, 2012, column:

Despite mounting evidence of close ties between the Muslim Brotherhood and Huma Abedin, Secretary of State Clinton’s close aide, Republican congressional leaders — particularly Senator John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner — continue to target their ire not at the State Department but at Representative Michele Bachmann.

Representative Bachmann is one of five House conservatives who have raised concerns about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of our government.

[...]

Obviously, Huma Abedin does not make Obama-administration or State Department policy. Policy is made by President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and they hardly needed Ms. Abedin in order to have pro-Islamist leanings.

Nevertheless, since Secretary Clinton’s tenure began, with Huma Abedin serving as a top adviser, the United States has aligned itself with the Muslim Brotherhood in myriad ways. To name just a few (the list is by no means exhaustive): Our government reversed the policy against formal contacts with the Brotherhood; funded Hamas; continued funding Egypt even after the Brotherhood won the elections; dropped an investigation of Brotherhood organizations in the U.S. that were previously identified as co-conspirators in the case of the Holy Land Foundation financing Hamas; hosted Brotherhood delegations in the United States; issued a visa to a member of the Islamic Group (a designated terrorist organization) and hosted him in Washington because he is part of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary coalition in Egypt; announced that Israel should go back to its indefensible 1967 borders; excluded Israel, the world’s leading target of terrorism, from a counterterrorism forum in which the State Department sought to “partner” with Islamist governments that do not regard attacks on Israel as terrorism; and pressured Egypt’s pro-American military government to surrender power to the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood parliament and president just elected by Egypt’s predominantly anti-American population. [National Review, 7/25/12]

Fox's John Bolton: "What Is Wrong With Raising The Question? ... Why Has That Generated This Criticism?" In a radio interview with Frank Gaffney, Fox News contributor and former Bush administration official John Bolton defended Bachmann and her allies for calling for an investigation into Abedin, saying: "What is wrong with raising the question? Why is even asking whether we are living up to our standards a legitimate area of congressional oversight, why has that generated this criticism? I'm just mystified by it." From the July 24, 2012, edition of The Frank Gaffney Show:

JOHN BOLTON: I've been subject to -- I don't know how many security clearance procedures and I must say as irritating as some people may find them I think they are absolutely essential to making sure that people who work in sensitive positions in the national security field in our government are entirely loyal to the United States. I just think that's an absolute, fundamental prerequisite. Now people find them intrusive, they find them inconvenient, my response is, that's just too bad. And what I think these members of Congress have done is simply raise the question, to a variety of inspectors general in key agencies, are your departments following their own security clearance guidelines, are they adhering to the standards that presumably everybody who seeks a security clearance should have to go through, are they making special exemptions? What is wrong with raising the question? Why is even asking whether we're living up to our standards a legitimate area of congressional oversight, why has that generated this criticism? I'm just mystified by it. [The Frank Gaffney Show, 7/24/12, via RightWingWatch]

WND: Bachmann “Was Crucified” For “Asking Urgently Important Questions About National Security.” WorldNetDaily’s Diana West said Abedin is a “veritable Muslim Brotherhood princess” and defended Bachmann’s call for the federal government to investigate her as “asking urgently important questions about national security.” From the July 25, 2013, article:  

It is not enough to analyze Huma Abedin as a “political wife.” Abedin is also a veritable Muslim Brotherhood princess. As such, the ideological implications of her actions – plus her long and privileged access to U.S. policy-making through Hillary Clinton – must be considered, particularly in the context of national security.

[...]

If the Abedin-Muslim Brotherhood story rings any bells, it is probably because of Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. Last summer, Bachmann, along with four other House Republicans, raised the issue of Huma Abedin among other examples of possible Muslim Brotherhood penetration of the federal policy-making chain. They asked inspectors general at five departments, including the State Department, to investigate their concerns, but nothing happened – nothing, that is, except that Bachmann was crucified, by Democrats and Republicans alike for asking urgently important questions about national security. [WND.com, 7/25/13]

Fact-Checkers, Journalists, And Republican Lawmakers Have Debunked And Condemned These Conspiracy Theories

Wash. Post’s Fact Checker: Abedin’s Alleged Muslim Brotherhood Connections Are “Bogus.” The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler gave a Republican congressman’s claim that Huma Abedin has “ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” a rating of “Four Pinocchios,” declaring the allegation “bogus”:

Duffy asked why the alleged Muslim Brotherhood connections to Huma Abedin are not being talked about. Perhaps it’s because they are bogus. Abedin has lived in the United States for nearly a quarter-century, working in the White House, the Senate and the State Department. Vague suggestions of suspicious-sounding connections to her parents don’t pass the laugh test, even at the flimsiest standard of guilt by association. [The Washington Post, 8/25/16]

PolitiFact Wisconsin: “No Evidence To Back Up Claim” Abedin “Has Ties To Muslim Brotherhood.” A PolitiFact Wisconsin article also responding to a Republican congressman’s claim that Huma Abedin has “ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” explained that “we’ve found no evidence to support” the claim, rating it “false”:

Duffy says Clinton aide Huma Abedin has "ties to the Muslim Brotherhood."

Duffy made the claim in the context of stories in the presidential campaign that get relatively little media coverage. But he cited no evidence to back his statement, and we couldn’t find any.

We rate his statement False. [PolitiFact Wisconsin, 9/14/16]

Fact-Checking Website Snopes.com: Rumors That Abedin’s Relatives Were Connected To Muslim Brotherhood “Have No Factual Basis To Them.” The fact-checking website Snopes.com debunked claims spread by Bachmann that Abedin’s relatives were connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, declaring that the “rumors … have no factual basis to them”:

Huma Mahmood Abedin is a long-time aide to Hillary Clinton who served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department while Clinton was Secretary of State from 2009-2013; she is also the wife of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York. Abedin is the American-born daughter of an Indian father and a Pakistani mother, and although she was raised in Saudi Arabia and identifies as a practicing Muslim, the rumors that her late father, her mother, and her brother were all "connected" to Muslim Brotherhood have no factual basis to them.

That rumor was promulgated by former Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who in June 2012 sent a letter to the Deputy Inspector General at the Department of State asserting that "info[r]mation has recently come to light that raises serious questions about Department of State policies and activities that appear to be a result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood." Bachmann cited as proof of these nefarious "influence operations" the example that "the Department's Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, has three family members — her late father, her mother and her brother — connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. Her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making." [Snopes.com, 7/22/16]

The Atlantic: “You Kind Of Have To Do A Somersault To Get From Huma Abedin To The Muslim Brotherhood.” A July 30, 2012, post on The Atlantic’s The Wire explored “the convoluted connections that link Huma Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood” and concluded: “Shockingly, the connections are indeed a little nuts. From person to person, you kind of have to do a somersault to get from Huma Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood.” [The Atlantic, 7/30/12]

CNN’s Anderson Cooper: Bachmann Never “Actually Provided Credible Evidence.” On the July 30, 2012, edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, host Anderson Cooper explained that “neither Congresswoman Bachmann nor her four colleagues have actually provided credible evidence, just insinuations.” [CNN.com, 7/30/12]

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: Bachmann’s Accusation Against Abedin Is “McCarthy-like.” On the July 19, 2012, edition of his CNN show, Wolf Blitzer said Bachmann’s accusation is “an outrageous, McCarthy-like charge,” and that “she does owe Huma -- who I know well -- an apology.” [Politico, 7/19/12]

Sen. John McCain: "These Allegations About Huma ... Are Nothing Less Than An Unwarranted And Unfounded Attack On An Honorable Citizen, A Dedicated American, And A Loyal Public Servant." A July 18, 2012, press release from the office of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) highlighted remarks by the senator in which he said, "These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant." From the press release:

Recently, it has been alleged that Huma, a Muslim American, is part of a nefarious conspiracy to harm the United States by unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy at the Department of State in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. On June 13, five members of Congress wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State, demanding that he begin an investigation into the possibility that Huma and other American officials are using their influence to promote the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government. The information offered to support these serious allegations is based on a report, 'The Muslim Brotherhood in America,' produced by the Center for Security Policy.

To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. It is far better, and more accurate, to talk straight: These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant. [Office of John McCain, 7/18/12]

House Speaker John Boehner: "I Think Accusations Like This Being Thrown Around Are Pretty Dangerous." A July 19, 2012, Politico article quoted then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) as saying in response to Bachmann’s investigation of Abedin, "I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous." From Politico:

They were long afraid to do it, but now conservatives have their knives out for Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Senators in her own party, congressional candidates, a lawmaker in her state's delegation and leaders of the House Republican Conference are all lambasting the Minnesota Republican for saying the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said merely floating the idea that Huma Abedin a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- has family ties to the radical Middle East group is "pretty dangerous."

"I don't know Huma, but from everything I do know of her, she has a sterling character," Boehner told reporters Thursday. "And I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous." [Politico, 7/19/12]

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers On Bachmann's Allegations: "That Kind Of Assertion Certainly Doesn't Comport With The Intelligence Committee." In remarks to USA Today, then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) -- a current Trump transition team member -- said of Bachmann's allegations: "That kind of assertion certainly doesn't comport with the Intelligence Committee, and I can say that on the record." From USA Today:

Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., a former FBI agent, said Bachmann's assertions about the Muslim Brotherhood's infiltration efforts are false.

"That kind of assertion certainly doesn't comport with the Intelligence Committee, and I can say that on the record," he told USA TODAY, aligning himself with party leaders who have defended Abedin. "I have no information in my committee that would indicate that Huma is anything other than an American patriot." [USA Today, 7/20/12]

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “She Is About As Far Away From The Muslim Brotherhood View Of Women And Ideology As You Possibly Could Get.” In a comment to Politico, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the attacks on Abedin “ridiculous,” and said: “The person saying it has no idea what they’re saying because they’ve never met her. She is about as far away from the Muslim Brotherhood view of women and ideology as you possibly could get. She’s a very modern woman in every sense of the word, and people who say these things are really doing her a disservice because they don’t know what they’re talking about, and I don’t know what their motivations are, but clearly it says more about them than it does her.” [Politico, 7/19/12]

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