Clinton slams House GOP letter suggesting aide has Islamist ties

Clinton slams House GOP letter suggesting aide has Islamist ties

Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE on Monday slammed House Republicans who suggested one of her top aides has links to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement, saying there is “no place in our politics” for such “assaults.”

Clinton was marking the release of the State Department's annual report on religious freedom around the world when she was asked to comment about the allegations against her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin. Five House Republicans have asked the State Department's deputy inspector general to probe Abedin's alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a request that has been condemned by some leaders of their own party.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Leaders have to be active in stepping in and sending messages about protecting the diversity within their countries,” Clinton said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “We did see some of that in our own country. We saw Republicans stepping up and standing up against the kind of assaults that really have no place in our politics.”

Clinton has mostly kept silent about the allegations, although State Department spokesman Philippe Reines has previously denounced them as "nothing but vicious and disgusting lies,” adding that “anyone who traffics in them should be ashamed of themselves.”


The House members who made the allegations — Reps. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannTom Petty dies at 66 Bachmann: Muslim immigrants trying to undermine Western civilization Religious leaders pray over Trump in Oval Office MORE (R-Minn.), Trent FranksTrent FranksOvernight Health Care: House passes 20-week abortion ban | GOP gives ground over ObamaCare fix | Price exit sets off speculation over replacement House passes 20-week abortion ban Trump administration backs 20-week abortion ban MORE (R-Ariz.), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Louie GohmertLouie GohmertDon't create safe haven for wildlife trafficking — reject SAVES Act You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible Alabama's Roy Moore proves Trumpism is more powerful than Donald Trump MORE (R-Texas) — have doubled down, accusing the media of focusing solely on Abedin instead of the broader risk of Islamist infiltration of government. 

The remarks have been criticized by House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner‘Lone wolf’ characterization of mass murderers is the epitome of white privilege Pelosi urges Ryan to create select committee on gun violence Ex-congressman Michael Grimm formally announces bid for old seat MORE (R-Ohio) and Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts The VA's woes cannot be pinned on any singular administration Overnight Defense: Mattis offers support for Iran deal | McCain blocks nominees over Afghanistan strategy | Trump, Tillerson spilt raises new questions about N. Korea policy MORE (R-Ariz.), who took to the Senate floor to denounce the accusations as "specious and degrading attacks."

These latest allegations surfaced after the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won the presidential elections in Egypt, forcing a reevaluation of U.S. ties to the Arab world's most populous country. 

In her comments, Clinton called religious freedom a “bedrock priority” of the Obama administration's foreign policy. 

“As I told the Christians with whom I met [when visiting Cairo earlier this month], the United States does not take the side of one political party over another,” she said. “What we do is stand firmly on the side of principles.”

Clinton said the United States was ready to work with Egypt's democratically elected leaders, but reaffirmed that “our engagement with those leaders will be based on their commitment to universal human rights and universal democratic principles.”