Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the top levels of the U.S. government but Muslim Brotherhood representatives say that this is news to its organization.
"I haven’t heard these rumors, but they strike me as ridiculous," said Ahmed Al Nahhas, a longtime activist and leader in Alexandria, Egypt, told the online outlet GlobalPost. "Surely the United States government selects its employees very carefully."
Another member was more self-deprecating. "The Muslim Brotherhood can’t even penetrate the Egyptian government," said Ibrahim Ali Iraqi, a leader in the Daqheleya province, to the Post.
Bachmann, joined by four Republican House members, addressed letters to several inspectors general alleging Muslim Brotherhood influence in the Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and State departments and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary Hillary Clinton, was described by Bachmann as having "three family members -- her late father, her mother and her brother -- connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations." In turn, the letter alleged that the State Department has taken recent actions that have been "enormously favorable" to the Muslim Brotherhood.
These claims havedrawn a strong rebuke from other lawmakers, including several prominent Republicans. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took to the Senate floor to defend Abedin on Wednesday, calling the attacks "unwarranted and unfounded."
"Never mind that one of those individuals, Huma’s father, passed away two decades ago," McCain said. "The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government."
Abedin, who married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), has since been reportedly been placed under police protection after an unspecified threat.
A Bachmann representative did not respond to a request for comment.