The Center for Security Policy’s David Reaboi doesn’t think Huma Abedin’s family’s alleged connections to the Muslim Brotherhood are “the big issue.” But that hasn’t stopped the center, headed by noted anti-Muslim advocate Frank Gaffney, from issuing a report it claims raises “serious questions” about the “security clearance process conducted for Mrs. Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff.”
In an interview with TPM, Reaboi said the center decided to issue the report after Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defended Abedin from accusations that the longtime Clinton aide was part of a conspiracy to infiltrate the U.S. government.
“After McCain made the statement and after four days straight of Anderson Cooper and all the media dwelling only on this, we decided that we did not want to let the media get away with saying there’s no connection there,” Reaboi said. “We don’t think this is the big issue, but we felt we had to respond just in order to correct the record out there.”
McCain’s remarks were in response to a letter by Rep. Michele Bachmann and four other House Republicans which warned that the Muslim Brotherhood was infiltrating the U.S. government. The letter (PDF) specifically cited MuslimBrotherhoodInAmerica.com, a 10-part series hosted by Gaffney.
Gaffney, who advised Bachmann’s presidential campaign on foreign policy, is a former Reagan administration official who started the Center for Security Policy the late 1980s. He’s questioned whether President Barack Obama is a natural born citizen and was was banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for alleging it too had been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Opponents of a mosque in Tennessee called upon him as an expert on Sharia in their quest to block the facility from being built. Last year he squared off with a Florida pastor who became famous for threatening to burn a Koran, who was holding a competing anti-Sharia rally outside the White House.
His center’s new report, Gaffney said in a press release “makes plain that a thorough investigation is fully justified regarding [Abedin’s] access to classified information and policy-influencing role.”
As evidence of Abedin’s alleged threat to the U.S., the report points to a book translated and published by her mother, Dr. Saleha Abedin, that they claim promotes “doctrinal shariah in family life and justification of the brutal and objectively anti-women practices commonplace everywhere that shariah is enforced.” Reaboi questions the government’s background check into Abedin.
Reaboi said that he doesn’t believe Abedin is the most important story. So why focus a report on her?
“Because we thought that, look, this is what the media narrative is,” Readboi said. “Rather than let it get away from us by not responding to the fact that people are all over TV and the press… saying there’s nothing wrong with Huma Abedin’s background, ‘everything is fine, everything is great, this is just McCarthyite smear.’ We wanted to give the facts.”
Here’s TPM’s video of two opposing anti-Sharia rallies outside the White House last year, featuring footage of Gaffney:
Ed. note: This story has been updated.