Shrugging off criticism from GOP leaders in Congress, Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann broadened her allegations Thursday of Islamic infiltration in the U.S. government, accusing Democrat Keith Ellison of associations with the Muslim Brotherhood.
"He has a long record of being associated with [the Council on American–Islamic Relations] and with the Muslim Brotherhood," Bachmann told right-wing radio and TV show host Glenn Beck.
Ellison, whose Minnesota congressional district borders Bachmann’s, told the Huffington Post that Bachmann’s accusations are totally false. "I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood," he said, echoing the McCarthy-era government loyalty oath.
The exchange came a day after Bachmann was denounced on the Senate floor by Ariz. Sen. John McCain. Earlier Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner termed Bachmann’s allegations “dangerous.”
Both Republican leaders were reacting to Bachmann’s requests for investigations into Muslim Brotherhood “influence operations” in several federal agencies. She specifically named State Department official Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Beck, in a supportive interview of Bachmann, accused McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential candidate, of “falling right in line with the Muslim Brotherhood bull crap.”
He also compared Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, to a “Mafia hit man.”
Bachmann used the interview to expand on her campaign to root out Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the government, which she said “truly is breathless.”
In a wide ranging interview, she called it “my duty” to speak up, and accused the FBI of a “purge” of training materials on radical Islam.
As for Ellison, who has publicly questioned the basis of her allegations, Bachmann said “he wanted to shut it (her call for an investigation) down.”
Bachmann repeated her accusations that Abedin’s family members, including her long-deceased father, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. But even as she questioned how Abedin could have received a government security clearance, she denied accusing the Clinton aide of being an agent for the Islamic group.
“All we’re doing is asking a question,” she said.
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