(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.
As Speaker of the House it was Rep. Boehner's responsibility to read the letter and to answer it forcefully. He manages to get worked up when Democrats are involved and he needs to get worked up over these accusations by Rep. Bachmann and company.
We are erroding basic tenets of hte USA every day. This is just the latest in a series fo moves made to change the character of this country. We do not condemn people on the basis of hearsay nor do we do so because the person is not just like us. Shame on Ms. Bachmann and shame on Mr. Boehner for not fulfilling his responsibilities.
In America, as created by the founding fathers, a Muslim congressman, a Muslim senator, even a Muslim President should be eventualities or milestones America eventually reaches, because there's nothing in the American system that is anything but tolerant of faiths or lack thereof. The whole system is built upon religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
Bachman's views on this and those of her GOP friends in congress are the ones who have infiltrated, if indeed they are of the opinion that their faith and their particular philosophies of life are American only and that others are not. As long as they aren't wasting tax payer dollars on these needless witch hunts that are expressly unAmerican and can learn to tolerate the melting pot that is American, then they have as much right to be in congress as any Muslim or Atheist or such.
But when any of those groups steps in and says another group is "unAmerican" or "Infiltrating the government", then that group (in this case Bachman and select members of the GOP) is itself a cancer in our own system.
bob; I'm all for that!!! ;) It would be nice to see policies based on SCIENCE and not ideology for once. Science will save man kind from all of the policies made for and created in the name of Religion. TIME WILL TELL
The really scary thought is, Bachmann was actually considered the "frontrunner" in the Republican primary at one point.
If Bachmann thinks her charges are being distorted, yet she won't answer questions about them, she reveals her own ignorance.
I really can't tell the difference between Palin and Bachmann. Both are prime examples of venomous rhetoric unfounded and spurred by a rage of being ignored by the media.
This is the woman that most Republican would want to be their President if the choice was between her ond Obama. It clearly shows what Republicans are about. Michele says things that a lot of Republicans don't want to get caught saying but they think it and believe it. This country has about 30% of the population that are registered Rebublicans and I would guess that of that 30%, half of them, which is approximatekly 50,000,000 Rebublicans thing and agree with Michele.
Folks, these people (50 million Republicans) are not the fringe of the Rebublican Party, They are the Republican Party. Vote for the Republican Party and this is what you will get.
A real nut job.......she is not even worth the time it is taking me to write this comment. Come on Minnesota, you can do better than her...vote her out!!!!!
A Muslim has as much right to govern as any Mormon or otherwise. Any particular religion is to have no place or power in our system of Government in America.
Have you no sense of decency?
This woman has to be a long lost relative of "Joseph McCarthy." They both suffer from mental illness.
She is one of the best examples of why we need to get money OUT of politcs. Money can get anyone elected at any level.
BACHMANN is a freak and everybody knows it except the losers in her own district that keep voting this freeloader on the American taxpayers in to office to steal more !!!!
Boehner needs to do his job as speaker and put a muzzle on that mouthpiece!
Hey Minnesota this one's on you.
more than dangerous...but then consider the source
The depth of imbecility displayed by our Greedy Old People never ceases to amaze. Rmoney/Arpaio in 2012!
McCarthy is alive and well and living in the 21st century. More's the pity.
John Boehner is very proud of his accomplishments. But, in representing the bigotry, ignorance, and paranoia of the Republican Party, history is not going to be so kind to him. He will be remembered as the leader of this disgusting era of the Republican Party.
dangerous because she's right?
This is the reason there won't be a Republican Party for very much longer. In a few years, when a new generation takes over, they won't identify this this bigotry, ignorance, paranoia, and greed.
MInnesota, well what can I say?
I'm much more afraid of radical Christians in our government than Muslims.
This woman is a menace to our country....I don't care what party lines you are on.
Just goes to show that some of the Tea Party republican legislators are lunatics who are unworthy to serve in Congress!