House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday refused to consider removing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) from the House Intelligence Committee even though he said it was “pretty dangerous” for her to accuse Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, of infiltrating the U.S. government on behalf of radical Islamists in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Last week, the St. Cloud Times reported the Bachmann and four other Republicans sent a letter to inspectors general in the State, Homeland Security, Defense and Justice departments calling on them to investigate “potential Muslim Brotherhood infiltration” of the Obama administration by Abedin, an aide to Secretary Clinton and wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Their accusations were based on a report by Frank Gaffney’s neoconservative Center for Security Policy.
During a press conference on Thursday, a reporter asked Boehner if it was appropriate for a member of the House Intelligence Committee to make these types of unfounded accusations.
“I haven’t seen the letter, but — I don’t know Huma, but from everything I do know of her, she has a sterling character,” Boehner pointed out. “And I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.”
“Would you consider taking her off the Intelligence Committee? Congresswoman Bachmann?” the reporter pressed.
“I don’t know that that’s related at all,” the Speaker replied.
On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also blasted Bachmann and the four other Republican lawmakers for their “specious and degrading attacks” on Abedin.
“The allegations about Huma Abedin and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant,” the Arizona senator said. “These attacks have no logic, no basis and no merit. And they need to stop. They need to stop now.”
“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.
The Minnesota congresswoman found herself fleeing from CNN cameras later that day as Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash tried to get her respond to McCain’s comments.
“The good news is I can walk pretty fast in heels,” Bash told CNN host Anderson Cooper. “The bad news is Michele Bachmann can walk just as fast. And she proved to be pretty adept at not only avoiding my questions, but talking enough that I could barely get any questions out.”
Watch this video from the C-SPAN, broadcast July 18, 2012.
(h/t: Think Progress)