POLITICS
10/11/2013 03:55 pm ET | Updated Oct 11, 2013

Louie Gohmert: John McCain 'Supported Al Qaeda'

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) took tea party dislike for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) a step further Friday, charging that he "supported Al Qaeda" in traveling to Syria.

Speaking at the Values Voter Summit, Gohmert referred to "some senator from Arizona," unambiguously referring to McCain. The crowd laughed.

Gohmert called McCain "a guy who liked Gaddafi before he wanted to bomb him, a guy who liked Mubarak before he wanted him out, a guy that's been to Syria and supported Al Qaeda and the rebels."

McCain traveled to Syria in May to meet with rebels, becoming the highest U.S. official to do so since the country's civil war began. He has stated repeatedly that while supporting the rebels, he does not want the U.S. to support Islamic extremism. The group McCain met has been attacked by rebels loyal to Al Qaeda.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told HuffPost in an email that "Senator McCain wouldn’t dignify that with a response" when asked about Gohmert's statements.

Gohmert has opposed intervention in Syria, saying it would "likely lead to even more chemical weapons falling into the hands of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood."

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