WASHINGTON -- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), one of five House Republicans who claimed the Muslim Brotherhood may have infiltrated the government, promised Thursday that he doesn't accuse anyone of nefarious behavior just because they are Muslim.
"You follow me around the world, you see me hugging Muslims around the world, because the ones I hug are our friends," Gohmert told Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during a House Judiciary Committee meeting. "This administration seems to have a hard time recognizing members of terrorist groups who are allowed into the White House."
Gohmert is in the middle of a firestorm this week after he joined Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and others in claiming that former State Department aide Huma Abedin, the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), may have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Those accusations were roundly condemned by other GOP members, including by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- he called the claims "pretty dangerous" -- and Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
On Thursday, Gohmert questioned Napolitano on Mohamed Elibiary, an appointee on President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisory Council who was accused in 2011 of leaking intelligence documents to make Texas Gov. Rick Perry look Islamaphobic.
Napolitano told him she'd looked into the matter -- and that Gohmert's claims about Elibiary were inaccurate and that he did not, to her knowledge, download classified documents. She also took a shot at Gohmert's talk about Muslims, though without specifically referencing the recent claims about the Muslim Brotherhood.
"What bothers me, quite frankly, are the allegations that remain against anyone who happens to be Muslim," Napolitano said.
"The allegations are not because he is Muslim," Gohmert replied.
As the discussion continued, the congressman raised his voice, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) repeatedly attempted to make him tone it down -- or stop altogether -- as Napolitano remained calm.
"I'm asking you if you know simple facts," he shouted at one point, interrupting her. He later accused her of avoiding answers several times as she was trying to speak.
"This committee has a long and proud tradition, and these kinds of insinuations demean the committee," Napolitano said. "The insinuation that I or my staff would allow someone who is a terrorist to infiltrate --"
He broke in to say he was making "no such insinuation" and that Elibiary is "a very nice gentleman."
At that point, Smith told him his time was up.
Rudy Giuliani And The Price Of Milk
While running for president in 2007, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/news_theswamp/2007/04/giulianis_price.html">told</a> a reporter at a Montgomery, Ala., supermarket that he estimates "a gallon of milk is probably about a $1.50, a loaf of bread about a $1.25, $1.30, last time I bought one." It must have been a few election cycles since his last trip: The grocery store's website listed milk for $3.38 and bread up to $3.49.
Dan Quayle And Single Mothers
During George H.W. Bush's reelection campaign in 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle <a href="http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19920521&id=b1tWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NfADAAAAIBAJ&pg=6921,388223" target="_hplink">scoffed</a> at the "Murphy Brown situation," referring to a television character who had a child out of wedlock. Quayle called the Brown story "totally unreal," adding, "A highly paid professional woman [with a baby] ... give me a break."
Martha Coakley And Shaking Hands
In a display of aloofness that many political observers say led to her defeat by Republican Scott Brown, Democratic Senate candidate and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley erred in <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0110/Coakley_not_sweating_it.html" target="_hplink">brushing off</a> the idea of ramping up her campaigning. When asked whether she was being too apathetic, she referenced one of Brown's ads and fired back, "As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?"
Spiro Agnew And Poor Neighborhoods
Republican vice presidential candidate Spiro Agnew, branded as Richard Nixon's go-to guy on cities, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/18/us/spiro-t-agnew-ex-vice-president-dies-at-77.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm" target="_hplink">vowed</a> in 1968 to avoid poor neighborhoods. "If you've seen one slum, you've seen them all," Agnew said.
Gerald Ford And Tamales
While visiting the Alamo in 1976, President Gerald Ford <a href="http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/No-one-told-Ford-tamales-need-to-be-unwrapped-1536700.php" target="_hplink">bit</a> into a tamale through the husk, a faux pas later deemed the "Great Tamales Incident."
George H.W. Bush And Grocery Scanners
President George H.W. Bush caught flak for <a href="http://www.snopes.com/history/american/bushscan.asp" target="_hplink">appearing awed</a> by a supermarket check-out scanner while touring a grocers convention in 1992. It turned out the president was being shown a new bar code technology, and the convention worker who was alongside Bush later said it's "foolish to think the president doesn't know anything about grocery stores. He knew exactly what I was talking about."
George W. Bush And Gas Prices
In 2008, President George W. Bush <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/business/worldbusiness/03iht-assess.4.11654214.html?_r=1" target="_hplink">said</a> he had not heard predictions that gas prices could soon hit $4 a gallon. At the time, the national average was $3.29 a gallon.
John Kerry And Cheese Steak
In 2003, Democratic presidential contender John Kerry <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/battle10/244119/bloombergs-john-kerry-cheesesteak-moment-thomas-shakely#" target="_hplink">ordered</a> Swiss cheese on a cheese steak while campaigning in South Philadelphia, straying from the traditional favorite topping, Cheez Whiz.
Michael Dukakis And The Tank
Democratic presidential contender Michael Dukakis <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/01/17/the-photo-op-that-tanked" target="_hplink">tried</a> to one-up Republican opponent George H.W. Bush on national defense by striking a pose in an M1 Abrams tank.
Mitt Romney And Wawa
Mitt Romney has had his fair share of seemingly out-of-touch statements this election cycle, admitting he likes to "fire people" and <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/mitt-romney-sandwich-computer-wawa/story?id=16587170#.T-Ca3XBfaUc" target="_hplink">expressing amazement</a> at the touchscreen ordering system at convenience store Wawa.
Barack Obama And The Private Sector
President Barack Obama is not exempt from the "gotcha" moment. In June, he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/08/obama-doing-fine-private-sector_n_1581874.html" target="_hplink">described</a> the private sector economy as "doing fine." The gaffe immediately elicited comparisons with his 2008 Republican opponent, John McCain, who said that the "fundamentals of the economy are strong" in the midst of a crippling financial crisis.