A Minnesota Democrat lashed out at her home-state colleague Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) this afternoon in a statement calling her “baseless and slanderous accusations” against Muslims in the U.S. government “malicious and bigoted.”
Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State last month asking that he begin an investigation into possible links between Muslims such as Huma Abedin, top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Islamist groups.
In a radio interview with Glenn Beck yesterday, Bachmann alleged that Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison has a long record of association with the Muslim Brotherhood. On Tuesday, Ellison had called Bachmann’s charges of Muslim infiltration “16 pages of nothing.”
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) slammed Bachmann for “attacking honorable Muslim-Americans in government service working on behalf of the American people, including my dear friend and colleague Congressman Keith Ellison.”
“No one in Congress is more passionate, committed, and forgiving than my brother from Minneapolis, Keith Ellison. He has a heart of gold and a spirit that hungers for justice and righteousness. I am proud to call him a friend and colleague, but I am also proud to stand with him in the face of these hateful accusations,” McCollum said.
“In the midst of this unfortunate atmosphere is the start of a very special and important time of year for Muslims. Today marks the start of Ramadan – the Muslim holy month,” she added. “For all Muslims this is a time of fasting, prayer, and family. It is a time for spiritual renewal with God – Allah – and within their community. I would like to respectfully and warmly wish my Muslim friends, colleagues, and all Muslims in Minnesota and across the U.S. a blessed, holy, and peaceful Ramadan.”
At his regular press conference yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said “accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous,” but brushed off as unrelated a question about taking Bachmann off the Intelligence Committee.
That followed a Wednesday floor speech in which Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lashed out at the House Republicans requesting the probe, saying they were conducting “sinister attacks” on Abedin.