On June 13th, Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Tom Rooney (FL-16) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) sent official letters 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 with the intention of determining the level of infiltration by Islamic extremist groups within their respective organizations.
Focusing on the Muslim Brotherhood, each letter roughly began:
As you may know, information has recently come to light that raises serious questions about the involvement of organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in [insert department] activities and policies. Given that the U.S. government has established in federal court that the Muslim Brotherhood’s mission in the United States is “destroying Western civilization from within” — a practice the Brothers call “civilization jihad” — we believe that the apparent involvement of those with such ties raises serious security concerns that warrant your urgent attention.
The letters then pointed to specific areas of concern within the respective departments. You can read a copy of them via Michele Bachmann's website, here.
But now, Democratic congressman Keith Ellison is calling the assertions and provided proof "regurgitated nonsense" and "repeated, false allegations."
On CNN with Anderson Cooper, Cooper began the segment by explaining that Ellison is leading the charge in demanding proof of the claims. Ellison reportedly got a 16-page letter back but, rather than discuss why the charges were "nothing," Ellison simply resorted to belittling them and the members of congress who provided them.
"16 pages doesn't take nothing and turn it into something, it's still nothing, and the fact is, I would hope that we would let our saner, more courageous spirit prevail."
Anderson Cooper then asked whether there was any evidence of "deep penetration" by the Muslim Brotherhood, careful to note for the second time that the phrase was Michele Bachmann's.
"No. It's not true. It doesn't exist. It's a phantom," Ellison responded, without providing any substantiating information of his own, or refuting any of the evidence before him.
He added: "Let me also assert that if there is any source of threat to the United States, legitimate, you know, that I want it to be investigated at whatever source. I don't care what religion, what race, what, whoever they are. If they are a legitimate threat to the U.S., by all means investigate them..."
He did not specify at what point a threat becomes worthy of investigation.
Watch the entire clip, below:
The pair then proceeded to discuss Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff, who reportedly has numerous connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Anderson Cooper phrased it: "Basically, they're saying that Huma Abedin's dead father headed a group decades ago, and one of the people who supposedly supported that group headed another group that was supposedly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood...Does that make any sense to you, that she shouldn't have gotten a security clearance, because of that?"
Though no one is claiming Huma Abedin is an extremist, Cooper did phrase the question in misleading terms. In reality, the members of Congress said that Abedin has three family members -- her late father, her mother, and her brother-- who are connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. Because "her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making," in the words of the congressional letter, these immediate connections should be evaluated and either dismissed, or considered.
Ellison concluded: "...It's about some people in our country thinking that if you're not in the quote unquote 'mainstream,' then you have no place-- that you have to be a certain color, a certain race, a certain sexual orientation, a certain religion, and if you're not the 'right' ones, then you're not okay. But we've got to stand up for this idea that we all count in this America, and [an] American is [an] American is [an] American, and we're going to stick with this idea; we're not going to back down."
Click here to read Bachmann's 16-page letter of "nonsense," in the words of Keith Ellison, highlighting possible security risks.