(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.
That was hilarious watching her trying to avoid answering questions yesterday. Then she tried to speak over the reporter so she couldn't get the question out. This kind of politics has got to stop. You smear someone's good name, and when questioned on it, you plead the 5th or say your words are being distorted. Either mean what you say and ehave evidence and FACTS to back it up or don't say nothing at all.
Boehner, isn't it time for you to start saying "where are the jobs?"
Michele Bachman has show over and over that she is cow pie crazy.And if you don't believe it, go to you tube and hear some of the things this woman has said. It's unbelievable that she is a member of congress.How long will the american people have to suffer this idiot.I urge the people of MN. to please to something, and remove this woman from congress.
Anything to get on the news for Bachmann... Does anyone know where she has gotten her proof or reason for the accusation?
One day her antics will be known as Bachmanisn in the same vein as McCarthyism but more dangerous because she could actually get people hurt – actually I think she already got some people serious hurt
Why is this story NOT the top story on CNN? This whole situation is an outrage! Michelle Bachmann and the other four idiots should be expelled from Congress for their rabble-rousing and making false accusations about a high ranking ( and well trusted/loyal) Government Official. I know if I did something like that, I would certainly lose my Government job.
I believe Christian extremists have infiltrated the American government. Lets start with investigating Bachmann.
Of course, it is dangerous. The way our justice system is supposed to work is that you are innocent until proven guilty. Right wing conspiracy theorists believe that you are guilty of anything they imagine until you can prove it false. The main reason leading Republicans are speaking out against this is because it is a general election year. They know that pursuing this would only make Romney do worse in the polls. Did you notice the dip during the Holder hearings?
If she wants to investigate Muslim extremists then she should also call for other religious extremists to be investigated as well... including radical Christians.
I am convinced that somewhere deep down in her Christian heart she thinks she is doing the right thing and being patriotic, poor lady.
Another nail in the coffin for any possibility of Republican president after 2020.The people you are drumming up hate for in 2012 will be majority in a voting bloc in 10yrs.Latinos,blacks,gays,muslims,educated caucasions,women even if they agree with your values wont vote for Republican.They lump a whole group together as one and thats offensive but in future they will pay.Their base is getting older and the lefts base is younger and more progressive
We could probably benefit more by a probe into how stupid people like Bachmann have infiltrated the government. Now there is a real threat to security. Remember, the last president wasn't so bright, we got two wars and a crushed economy as a result.
A brief moment of sanity from the Right!
The real scarey thing is that there are those in the lower echelons of intelligence who actually believe the insanity which comes out of Bachmann's mouth.
I see what they are doing! If they can remotely attach some suspect Muslim affiliation to Ms. Abedin (who is disgraced rep. Weiners wife), then there is a chance to connect the Musilm Brotherhood to Obama & to revive the "birther" nonsense! It's a pretty obvious scheme to take heat from Romneys refusal to show his tax returns & cicular talk about the Bain discrepancies! Even if nothing comes from it, they've opened a way to sow the seed of doubt in minds leaning in that direction anyway! It may be dangerous & w/out merit, but mostly it's a ploy!!
Bachmann must go!! Come on Minnesota...I know you are smarter than this-boot her out of office. You guys do that and we'll boot out Steve King and the Congress will be a much better place!
Bachmann's continuing harangues clearly indicate her only way to get publicity is to make outrageous statements and exaggerated claims. This is what the TEA Party extremists and ultra-conservatives like. Never mind if it's a fact or true. Just say it and that way they can divide the country and create fear where there's no fear. Something should be done about this disgrace in the Congress!
It takes months, almost a year to get the highest level security clearance. I know as I was in the military and started the process. If you get that clearance, believe me, you have been vetted. It takes a lot just to get the lowest level of clearance. BTW – What PROOF does Ms. Bachman have of "extremists" having access to the White House. If what she offered as "proof" of Ms. Abedin, then this lady needs to have her own clearance looked at. BTW – why isn't calling for Grover Norqist's wife to be examined. He's making the GOP candidates and congressman sign promisses. His wife is Muslim..................
How do people keep electing someone like this? Can anyone tell me what she has done in the Congress? What major policy or bill has she sponsored? If I were a Tea Party or Conservative, I'd be ashamed of the type of s**t she spouts. She makes them look "nutty". She's accussing Ms. Abedin of "guilt by association"................. doesn't the people she (Ms. Bachman) hang around also get that "guilt by association"?.................of looking nutty??
If Boehner labels this as dangerous, then perhaps she isn't as crazy as we thought!
How do people in Minn. keep electing her to Office – She distorts things and then wants to Rationalize it. Send Donations to whoever is running against her!
Republicans really need to put a muzzle on that rabid woman from Minnisota
i see why switzerland denied her citizen ship she did not pass the nut test
The most Islamically compliant organization in America is the Republican Party.
Islam prohibits Abortion (except of extreme cases like life of mother and some other situations), Islam supports protection of Marriage, Islam prohibits getting into excessive debt, and Islam is for self defense (supports 2nd Amendment).
Ever social issue of Republicans is close to Islamic way of life. The Democratic Party values are usually against Islam.
However Islamophobia keeps Muslims from being Republicans. In 2000, majority of Muslims voted for Bush and in 1996 Muslims voted for Clinton.
American Muslims are the largest swing voters and the fastest growing Muslim populations are in Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada and Florida. Guess what? All these states are swing states.
Romney is actually the most Muslim friendly Republican candidate in the GOP and the GOP needs every vote this election. Let's capture the Muslim vote back for the GOP. Kudos to McCain and Boehner.
Bachman and her "friends" are going down a very dangerous road. The quote was not taken out of context. They are trying to get Americans to be affraid, a tactic often used in politics. I've watched her in interviews and her opinions are scary and baseless. It is SS tactics at it's best. The only thing scarier than her beliefs are the whack jobs that but into her nonsense. They are not Americans. They are Fascists.
Aren't you proud of Bachman? She is such a jewel for her state..LOL.