Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), one of two Muslims serving in Congress, dismissed Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) claims of potential Islamist infiltration in Washington “16 pages worth of nothing” last night on CNN.
Bachmann had outlined her basis for pursuing an investigation in a 16-page response letter to her home state colleague. This included asking how Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and wife of former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, received State Department security clearance even though three members of Abedin’s family having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the once-banned political party now in the Egyptian presidency.
“It’s 16 pages worth of repeated false allegations. Just regurgitated nonsense,” Ellison said. “And, you know, it doesn’t — 16 pages doesn’t take nothing and turn it into something. It’s still nothing.”
Ellison was interviewed last night by Anderson Cooper, who ripped into Bachmann himself. “Now you would think to make a charge like that — for sitting members of Congress to make a charge like that, that they would have some actual evidence, right?” Cooper said. “You would think that. But the truth is they don’t have any direct evidence.”
“Let me also assert that if there’s any, any source of threat to the United States, legitimate, you know, then I want them to be fully investigated, whatever source,” Ellison said. “I don’t care what religion, what race, what — whoever they are. If they’re a legitimate threat to the U.S., by all means investigate them. But in this case, there is none that I’ve ever seen.”
He charged that Bachmann aired her claims because “she thinks that it’s going to be popular and she’s going to make herself look like some sort of a hero and this may benefit her in her election.”