(CNN) – Republican House Speaker John Boehner called dangerous Thursday a request from members of his own party in Congress to investigate Muslim infiltration in the U.S. government.
Admitting he had not read a letter requesting the investigation, Boehner said "I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous."
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, along with four other Republican members of Congress, formally requested in June that various federal agencies investigate whether the American government has been infiltrated by Muslim extremists.
– Read Bachmann's letter
Among the issues they raise is a claim that long-time aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, has three family members connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, and is at risk of being influenced by her family members. The members of Congress want to know how she holds a high level security clearance.
On Thursday, Boehner said he did not know Abedin, but that "everything I do know of her she has a sterling character."
Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain made a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday criticizing the call for an investigation and defending Abedin.
"These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant," McCain said.
"When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it," he added.
State Department spokesman Phillipe Reines called the accusations "nothing but vicious and disgusting lies," in a statement to CNN.
Bachmann, who refused to answer questions from CNN about the letter on Wednesday, said in a statement that her and her colleagues' request was being "distorted."
"I encourage everyone, including media outlets, to read them in their entirety," Bachmann wrote. "The intention of the letters was to outline the serious national security concerns I had and ask for answers to questions regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical group's access to top Obama administration officials."
CNN's Kate Bolduan contributed to this report.
Agreed! Bachmann is one scary lady.
Yeah? That may have been in there along with the parts accusing this woman of being an extremeist infiltrating the government and Clinton allowing it to happen..... I know these Tea Party reps are the lowest of the low and nothing will ever get done to hold them accountable, but come on........
Good for Mcain to stand up and say the right thing regardless of party politics. I swear politicians like Bachmann are what is ruining this country. She is more concerned about a witch hunt than FIXING OUR ECONOMY, ENDING THE WAR(s), and Actually doing her job. I would fire her in a second and the American people should too.
Thank you Mr. Boehner for standing up to the freaking nonsense some of your party members are spewing! Finally. Now don't cave to the teabag pressure and start hearings on this garbage. We needs JOBS not modern day McCarthy hearings.
well we already know the GOP is not only infiltrated by, but completely controlled by Christian extremists
Well, the district lines have been redrawn in MN so hopefully there will be enough sane people to vote Bachmann out now. She gives my state such a bad name.
Bachmann is a vicious character. I'm glad relatively few agree with her.
One would hope that people with very high security clearances that also have relatives involved with radcial muslim groups, would be heavily investigated and vetted. The government totally botched the Ft. Hood shooter deal. All of the warning signs were there and were ignored or poo poo'd. And many innocent people paid for it with their lives. The government needs to take this stuff seriously.
Michele Bachman the 21st century answer to Joe McCarthy.
Doesn't she and the other GOP remember McCarthyism? Shame on them.
these extremist fanatics took over the congress and shut the country down, just because they wanted to blame obama. then they act civilize when they jack stuff, calling for leadership. where are the job bills you guys promise to write and give it to this president, so he can sign it. so americans can get back to work. owh!!!
Yeah too bad they don't stand up when President Obama is being called everything but a child of God! Even though McCain did stand up for Obama during the 2008 primaries against looney tunes, the rest of the republican party have been more than willing to make dangerous, hateful, and unfounded statements about this president. I don't know why some white people can be so hateful and then turn around and say they are christians!!!!!!!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!
I call for an investigation to find out how "STUPIDITY" infiltrated Washington DC!!!
So does this woman have relatives involved with terrorist organizations? Does she communicate and associate with them? So how about some facts? If there is something here then investigate it and decide if anything needs to be done. It should not have become a public matter though.
Bachmann renounced her US citizenship and joined the Swiss, and then renounced her Swiss citizenship two days later. She is a woman without a country. These types of rants by Bachmann is a crying out to become a Muslim, but she just does not know how to join. Someone help her with the registration forms please.
I am a conservative and I think Bachman crossed the line here!
Ole Johnny on the spot. Its only been a week. At least Boener did the right thing. Now lets hear him confront Rush and Sununununu
This goes to show how weak a leader Weeper Boehner is. If he was a strong leader, he would have got out in front of this story BEFORE Sen. McCain. I hope the good people of Minnesota vote Bachmann out once and for all.
McCain's response is the right one. Boehner has to be more careful, as he kow tows to the Tea Party nuts. Elect more right win Tea Party extremists, and you'll get more crazy, dangerous people like Bachman influencing the running of our country.
Maybe we should just go ahead and start building those internment camps now because it doesn't seem like they are that far off.
My grandparents were born in Italy. Michele, I must have ties to the Mafia.
Listen to Boehner trying to sound sane, sober, and sensible just because his Party has gone off the deep end and a presidential election approaches.
Too late Boo-Hoo.
Has the speaker grown a pair???? Thanks to John McCain!!!! Hope we can use this as a beginning to end the nonsense of the past two years and start putting country first and speak out against the haters!!!!
When part of the strategy of mus lim extremists is to deceive in order to further their agenda why not investigate? Oh, right, because no one would know what to do if it what she is saying is possible is actually true.