WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- Allegations a top aide to the U.S. secretary of state is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood are "sinister," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Wednesday.
Tea Party leader Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and other conservative lawmakers have insinuated Huma Abedin, a Muslim-American who is deputy chief of staff at the State Department, is using her position to benefit the Brotherhood, the Islamist political party that recently took over the Egyptian presidency.
"These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now," Politico quoted McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, as saying on the Senate floor. "I have every confidence in Huma's loyalty to our country, and everyone else should as well. All Americans owe Huma a debt of gratitude for her many years of superior public service. I hope these ugly and unfortunate attacks on her can be immediately brought to an end and put behind us before any further damage is done to a woman, an American, of genuine patriotism and love of country."
Bachmann has asked for a federal investigation of Abedin, citing alleged connections her deceased father had to the Muslim Brotherhood, Politico said.
McCain said the attacks are being made "without concern for fact or fairness."
"Huma represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants who has risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully. I am proud to know Huma, and to call her my friend," he said.
Abedin, who has been a confidant to Hillary Clinton long before President Barack Obama appointed her as the top U.S. diplomat, gave birth to her first child last year and is married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who resigned from Congress in a sexting scandal.