With MPR’s Jon Collins…
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann intensified her claims on assertions that federal officials have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. On a talk show tonight, she zeroed in on DFL Rep. Keith Ellison, a fellow member of Congress who represents a district adjacent to hers.
Bachmann hasn’t backed down from claims that a top administration aide has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, even after GOP House Speaker John Boehner and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle condemnedher for making the suggestion. Bachmann instead has turned her fire on Ellison.
Ellison “has a long record of being associated… with the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bachmann said on Glenn Beck’s radio program on Thursday morning.
Bachmann also told Beck that Ellison wanted to “shut down” her proposed investigation into the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on the federal government.
Ellison said on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight that he had no ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“I don’t have any Muslim Brotherhood connections as she’s talking about,” Ellison said. He also said he’s not trying to shut down any investigation but is working to raise concerns that Bachmann is making unfounded allegations against Muslims who work for the federal government.
Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress and has widely criticized Bachmann for making the allegations that a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has repeatedly criticized Bachmann for “fear mongering” by suggesting Muslims working in the federal government are linked to extremist groups. He said he hopes people stand up to Bachmann’s claims.
He told MPR News recently that Bachmann’s claims were “the very stuff of McCarthyism, charges of disloyalty or subversion based on thin or attenuated evidence or prejudice.”
Bachmann has been the main source of criticism after she and four other lawmakers sent letters in mid-June to federal agencies asking that Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, be investigated for ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the past week, her statements about Abedin have been condemned by Boehner, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Ed Rollins, who ran Bachmann’s campaign for president, also criticized Bachmann’s actions as “extreme” and “dishonest.” Bachmann’s comments have also reportedly upset House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). She sits on the House Intelligence Committee.
Bachmann and Ellison were both elected to Congress in 2006. They are both running for reelection.