Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison talks to Anderson tonight about the letters Rep. Michele Bachmann and four of her Republican colleagues sent to five government agencies calling for an investigation into potential “deep penetration” of Muslim extremist infiltration into the highest levels of the U.S. government.
The letters cite the work of a group called 'The Center for Security Policy' whose website is called MuslimbrotherhoodinAmerica.com.
The head of the group is Frank Gaffney, who has been a guest on our program in the past. Gaffney says that 'the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating every aspect of American life in order to impose Sharia law.'
His critics call him a conspiracy theorist, and The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Gaffney, quote, "the anti-Muslim movement's most paranoid propagandist." Michele Bachmann's fellow representative from Minnesota, Congressman Keith Ellison, tells Anderson that “the Southern Poverty Law Center investigates hate groups like the Neo-Nazis and the KKK, he is on the moral plane of groups like that, and I don't know why anybody who is in the U.S. Congress would want to associate themselves with Mr. Gaffney.”
Rep. Ellison, a Muslim, has sent a letter to Bachmann and her colleagues, in which he wrote 'I request that you provide my office a full accounting of the sources you used to make the serious allegations against the individuals and organizations in your letters'. He continued to say 'Mr. Gaffney's views have been widely discredited, including by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and conservative organizations … After the ACU board conducted a full investigation of Mr. Gaffney's accusations against Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, the board found Mr. Gaffney's accusations 'reprehensible,' 'baseless' and 'false and unfounded.' The ACU even barred Mr. Gaffney's participation from CPAC in 2011.'
Bachmann's reply to Ellison, defended the letters and repeated her view that a 'multidepartment investigation into potential Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into the U.S. government is not only necessary but, quote, beyond timely.'
AC360 invited Rep. Bachmann and the other four members of Congress who signed the letters to come on the program last night and tonight. They all either declined or did not respond to our request. Our invitation stands.
Watch this preview and tune in for the full conversation at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
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