(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.
Bachmann and the rest of her "McCarthyism" friends need a different line of work. They are NOT representing the American public but only serving their own twisted agendas. This type of behavior WASTES our tax payer monies every second they throw this garbage around. These individuals need to be sanctioned by the House of Representatives and be put on Congressional Record for their racist behavior toward another American Citizen. How unfortunate this type of grand standing will probably get these people reelected in their backward states.
Well said, and impartially stated.
Does this not seem like McCarthism revisited?
Start with the White House.
Keep in mind: Joseph McCarthy was right about Soviet infiltration in the U.S. Government. Don't think it can't happen with the Muslim Brotherhood.
While Boehners remarks weren't exactly scathing, I think this might signal the beggining of the fall of the Tea Pary insanity. I don't mean those original people who protested abut taxes, I mean the nutjobs that co-opted the movement into a "hate everything, know nothing" group that exists today.
The nice thing about someone like Bachmann, or Palin or most of the absolutely crazy zealots (both left and right) is, if you let them talk long enough, people will eventually understand why they have no business on the national stage.
It would not surprise me if this was a right-wing attempt at resuscitating the old Muslim Boogeyman rhetoric that fanned the flames of hatred and intolerance towards our President before and after he was elected. Other GOPeeing Teatards (see Donal Dump), after all, have in fact unearthed the idiotic, and nationwide embarrassment Birther conspiracy that we thought was finally put to rest. The common thread with these witless accusations is that they are both things that these nutjobs have accused our President of being.
Muslims infiltrating government. Blow your whistle.
Show us your birth certificate – again. Blow a little louder.
Next we'll be hearing about Socialists in the State Department.
Bachmann and her ilk are yet another tool being implemented to drive a divisive wedge amongst us. To create hate where their is none.
Don't let these dogs continue to ruin our country.
Boehner didn't condemn it deeply enough. She is still making these treasonous charges. She needs to be called on the carpet, and apologize to the House. If it were up to me I would haul her away in chains and charge her with treason and inciting revolution.
Michelle is apparently trying to extend her 15 minutes of fame! She is like a child who will do anything for attention; even negative attention is better than being ignored.
ALL OF YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT. Who is the real enemy of the free? It is a group that wants to rule the world by what they think is best. All members of government should be investigated for any connection to the Muslim Brotherhood or any other terrorist group.
Let's be sure to make sure that the black members of congress (all shades) have no relatives in the Black Panther Party (old and new). Check the white christian members of congress to ensure they have no relatives in the Klan, absolutely no wizards allowed. And then move on to the Jews, we don't want any radical Jews in government. I suppose we should make sure there are no gay relatives, don't want them infiltrating the government for sure. Sorry if I've let some other group slide. I think the aforementioned groups will give us a very lean and clean government.
We intrusted a Muslim officer (US Army) at Ft. Hood whom also was given unchecked access and his religous beliefs should have been questioned from the very begining. Dont think for one moment you can trust these people-Trust no one, not even your government! Obama should be tried for treason along with Eric Holder.
I strongly urge Congress and the Justice Department to investigate whether or not fundamentalist christians have infiltrated the government and are influencing policy decisions and legislation made by the government. The danger these loose cannons present to our nation's citizens cannot be dismissed out of hand; it is a rising tide of intolerance, bigotry and ignorance that threatens the rights and freedoms that our founding fathers established and our young men and women died to protect.
While we're at it I think we should investigate the possibility that Congress has been infiltrated by Christian extremists... We should start with the gentlewoman from Minnesota...
Talk about shooting the messenger, eh.
NOT SAYING SHE IS THE SHARPEST CRAN IN THE BOX, but anyone afiliated with the Muslim brotherhood, sister, brother, cousin whoever is almost as fringe as the Democrates. Pay people to be poor always have plenty of poor people on a government assistance. Whats wrong with people working for a living. On that note boot out 12 million illegal Mexicans and put Americans back to work.
As a moderate Democrat, I would like to express Kudos to both Both John McCain and John Boehner for stepping up and taking what I believe is the proper stance. Bachmann, fortunately, does not represent mainstream America. Can you imagine if more in her position shot from the hip like this? Very poor timing also, on her part given an already weak GOP candidate. She is clearly toast in the eyes of any rational thinking Republican at this point.
Maybe someone should investigate the Christian extremists in Congress? Let's start with the crazy lady from Minnesota.
We surely do not elect the best and brightest for congress .... The letter is disgusting.
You know, Mormonism and Islam both are departures from Christianity. Get religion out of politics, period!
The request is to determine if a know terrorist organization, that has vowed to destroy America, has undue access to the highest reaches of our nation's government. It is not a witch hunt against any and all muslims. Religious intolerance has no place in America, but allowing access to national security information to clear enemies of our country is ignorant and borderline treasonous.
"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."
Uncanny how they ALWAYS manage to draw the President's name into something negative and un-American.
Bachmann, Palin, Rush, Dick and Rove is Republican axis of evil. They will say and do anything and get away.
McCarthysim....are we serious? I don't think much of Republicans to begin with. But I don't think they would even stoop this low. My respect for Boehner just went up. This is nothing more than the hate driven fringe of the conservatives who can no longer push the birth certificate issue any longer. They have only one goal..."One Term" no matter the cost even if it is the american principals or spirit.....they have already distroyed the economy and middle class by failing to be able to work with the other party. We have got to get rid of the fanatics (tea party) of both parties so the two can work together, this is what we have really lost.
Once again, we do not learn from history, so we are doomed to repeat it. Anybody remember a little thing called McCarthyism?