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"I haven't heard these rumors, but they strike me as ridiculous. Surely, the United States government selects its employees very carefully."
That was the response from a Muslim Brotherhood leader Monday when asked by the Global Post about Michele Bachmann's unfounded suggestion that longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has "ties" to the Islamist organization.
Bachmann and a small handful of other conservative lawmakers made that allegation last month while requesting an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood's influence on State Department policy. Their claims about Abedin's connection to the Islamist group went mostly unnoticed until last week, when John McCain took to the Senate floor to blast Bachmann over the accusations.
That rebuke was quickly followed by former Bachmann presidential campaign manager Ed Rollins comparing his old boss to McCarthy, and House Speaker John Boehner labeling Bachmann's claims "pretty dangerous." A number of other high-profile Republicans—including Sens. Lindsey Graham, Scott Brown, and Marco Rubio—have also suggested Bachmann went too far.
Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that Bachmann's accusations against Abedin—who is married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner—prompted an unspecified threat from a New Jersey man that led federal officials to order extra police protection for Abedin on Sunday. The suspect was questioned by the NYPD and the State Department but charges have not been filed.