By Molly K. Hooper - 07/19/12 04:17 PM EDT
At a press conference Thursday, Boehner (R-Ohio) defended Huma Abedin, the deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
Boehner said he did not know Abedin well, but that “from everything that I know of her she has a sterling character. I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.”
In a letter to the inspectors general at several government agencies, the five GOP lawmakers said Abedin’s position affords her access to Clinton, and that the State Department has “taken actions recently that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Boehner said he hadn’t seen the letter. When he was asked if he would remove Bachmann from the House Intelligence Committee because of the issue, Boehner said: “I don’t know that that’s related at all.”
Boehner’s comments were relatively tame compared to the rebukes by other Republicans.
2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called out the GOP lawmakers for the accusations from the Senate floor on Wednesday.
“These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis and no merit. And they need to stop now,” said McCain.
And Ed Rollins, the campaign manager for Bachmann’s failed presidential campaign, compared the tactics to McCarthyism.