In her letter to Ellison, Bachmann wrote, "Given what we know from the international media about Ms. Abedin's documented family connections with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood," how was she not disqualified for a U.S. security clearance.
McCain pointed out that Abedin's father died two decades ago and that the congresswoman failed to provide "one instance of an action, decision or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government".
Clinton recently traveled to Egypt and urged president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and field marshal Hussein Tantawi of the military to work together. The two are in a power struggle.
In his letter to Bachmann, Ellison said the congresswoman, who was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, provided no information to substantiate her claims about Abedin. Ellison also is a Muslim.
McCain, who described himself as someone who understands the pain "when a person's character, reputation and patriotism are attacked", criticized Bachmann's actions.
"When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it," he said.
Abedin worked for Clinton when Clinton served as a U.S. senator representing New York and sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Abedin is married to former representative Anthony Weiner, of New York.
Intellpuke: Kudos to Sen. McCain for standing up for his friend and the truth.
You can read this Associated Press article, filed from Washington, D.C., in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/18/mccain-huma-abedin-attacks-bachmann