On Anderson Cooper’s CNN show last night, Ellison responded to Bachmann’s latest salvo, saying her accusations were “simply scare-mongering” and compared her quest to root out Muslim Brotherhood infiltrators to Sen. Joe McCarthy’s infamous witch-hunt for Communist agents. Ellison went on::
COOPER: You asked for a full accounting of the evidence these members of Congress were using to make their claims. You got a 16- page letter back. Does their evidence hold up?
ELLISON: No, it’s 16 pages worth of nothing. It’s 16 pages worth of repeated false allegations. Just regurgitated nonsense. And, you know, it doesn’t — 16 pages doesn’t take nothing and turn it into something. It’s still nothing…
COOPER: Have you seen any evidence of “deep penetration” — that was the words that Congressman Bachmann used — “deep penetration” by the Muslim Brotherhood into the security apparatus of the United States?
ELLISON: No, it’s not true. It doesn’t exist. It’s a phantom.
Watch the whole interview here:
Cooper also related a statement from Abedin’s office responding to Bachmann’s allegations:
They are nothing but vicious and disgusting lies that have no place in reasonable political discourse. And anyone who traffics in them should be ashamed of themselves.
Bachmann denied the clearly implied charge that Abedin worked on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. But in her first letter to the State Department, she named Abedin’s torturous and distant family connections to the group and said, “Her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making.” She added, in the next sentence, that the Obama adminisrtation has “taken actions recently that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests.”
Responding to Ellison, Bachmann denied she was accusing Abedin directly and said her concern was simply about the security clearance process. She wrote that family members are already examined as “potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining security clearance, which undoubtably Ms. Abedin had to obtain to function in her position.” In other words, the process she’s concerned about is already in place, but not to her liking, leaving one with little else to assume but that she is indeed making sordid implications about Abedin. Ellison called this “the worst of guilt by association.”