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July 17th, 2012
09:54 PM ET

Rep. Keith Ellison on "AC360" Muslim infiltration claims 'not true'

Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison refutes the claims made by Rep. Michele Bachmann and four of her Republican colleagues in letters sent to government agencies calling for an investigation into potential Muslim extremists. Rep. Ellison tells Anderson Cooper that Bachmann's claims of 'deep penetration' of Muslim extremist infiltration into the highest levels of the U.S. government are "not true, it doesn't exist, its a phantom" and that "it just is the worst of guilt by association, it is a stark front to American values" and "we've got to stand up for this idea that we all count in this America"

July 17th, 2012
07:03 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Rep. Keith Ellison 'it’s like a bizarre game of six degrees of separation'

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.”

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