John McCain is making news for the second day in a row. Yesterday, he broke character and gave Sarah Palin a sort of backhanded compliment.

His former VP running mate, whom he has been shy to defend and whose reputation has been viciously maligned by his staff, might have appreciated as spirited defense as he gave today to Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff (and Anthony Weiner’s wife), Huma Abedin.

Abedin’s alleged family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood were mentioned as part of a larger request for investigations in letters sent by Cong. Bachmann and four other congressmen on June 13, which address a series of security concerns:

In the letter, Bachmann, Franks, Gohmert, Rooney and Westmoreland questioned the Inspectors General about the direct influence within the intelligence community of Muslim Brotherhood operatives. They explained that the U.S. government in federal court has established that the group’s mission in the U.S. is “destroying the Western civilization from within.” The members went on to request that the respective offices of the Inspectors General conduct a formal investigation or evaluation of the extent to which Muslim Brotherhood-tied individuals or entities are involved.

Abedin’s family is mentioned in the letter to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State:

The Departments Deputy, Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and /or organizations. Her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy making…

Cong. Ellison requested sourcing for the allegations, which was then provided to him (some would say she “schooled him”) by Bachmann:

“Not once in the letter to the Inspector General of the Department of State, as you summarize, was it stated that “by extension, (Ms. Abedin), may be working on the organization’s behalf….That her family members are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood has been reported and referenced widely in the Arab-language media, including Al-Hayat, The Arab Times and Al-Jazeera.”

In response, Senator McCain gave a speech on the floor of the Senate Wednesday attacking the letters:

….On June 13, five members of Congress wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State, demanding that he begin an investigation into the possibility that Huma and other American officials are using their influence to promote the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government. The information offered to support these serious allegations is based on a report, “The Muslim Brotherhood in America,” produced by the Center for Security Policy.

To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. It is far better, and more accurate, to talk straight: These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant….

….These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members of Huma’s family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United States in any way. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.

Later Wednesday, Cong. Bachmann said their letters are being “distorted”:

The letters my colleagues and I sent on June 13 to the Inspectors General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State – and the follow up letter I wrote to Rep. Ellison on July 13 – are unfortunately being distorted.

I encourage everyone, including media outlets, to read them in their entirety….

It is unclear whether Senator John McCain has researched the source documents provided by Cong. Bachmann.

 
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