U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., isn't a stranger to making controversial -- and ambiguously factual -- statements, but her latest tirade against the Muslim Brotherhood's supposed infiltration of the U.S. State Department may take the cake.
After suggesting that Huma Abedin, the widely respected chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (and wife of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.,), is part of a coordinated effort to undermine the nation's response to alleged threats posed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Bachmann was met with a slew of criticism large enough to include members of her own party.
Among those rebuking Bachmann is Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist who served as campaign manager for the Minnesota Republican's recent presidential campaign. In an op-ed penned for Fox News on Thursday, Rollins criticized Bachmann's outrageous and false charges against Abedin, which he said was malicious enough to warrant an apology to her and millions of Muslim-Americans. However, he also noted that Bachmann is not necessarily a politician who should always be taken seriously.
Having worked for Congressman Bachman's campaign for president, I am fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level, Rollins wrote.
Bachmann, along with four Republican colleagues this week, wrote a letter to the State Department's Inspector General demanding an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts to penetrate the U.S. government. As evidence of this infiltration, the letter notes that Abedin has a high-level security clearance, despite the fact that she is Islamic and supposedly has family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
On Thursday U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gave an impassioned speech in defense of Abedin on the Senate floor, calling the allegations against her an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen. McCain pointed out the letter and its sourcing came from a report by the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think tank founded by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.