Michele Bachmann has been the target of strong criticism from fellow Republican lawmakers after accusing one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's longtime aides of having possible ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.
In letters to federal organizations, Bachmann and four other congressman expressed concerns that Huma Abedin, now Clinton's deputy chief of staff, has used her position to encourage more favorable policy decisions to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“[Abedin's] position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making,” one of the letters reads.
Bachmann made further comments in a radio interview with Sandy Rios. “It appears that there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann said. “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.”
One of the most vocal critics of Bachmann's accusations has been Senator John McCain, who personally defended Abedin. Calling her a "friend" and an "intelligent, upstanding, hard-working and long servant of our country and our government," the Republican from Arizona denounced the accusations made by Bachmann and her partners.
"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," McCain said. "These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now."
Speaker of the House John Boehner also weighed in on the accusations, calling them "pretty dangerous." "I don't know Huma, but from everything I know of her, she has sterling character."
To substantiate her claims, Bachmann points to her deceased father, Syed Abedin, and an institute that he founded decades ago. That institute received support from a Dr. Umar Abdallah Nassif, who was part of the Muslim World League, an organization that has suspected ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.