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John McCain denounces Bachmann's 'specious' Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theory

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) caught some fire from her own party on Wednesday, with former presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ) forcefully rejecting her calls for investigations into Muslim members of the government. In a Senate floor speech that elliptically referred to Bachmann as "a member of Congress," McCain condemned "specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans."

McCain was specifically defending Huma Abedin, a long-time Hillary Clinton aide, wife of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), and one of the people whom Bachmann said should be investigated for possible ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. In prepared remarks, McCain defended Abedin as "an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working, and loyal servant of our country and our government." He went on:

“Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a nation, and who we aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sect or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring, universal, and equal rights that are the foundation of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity. 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.

“Our reputations, our character, are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth, and unjust attacks that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person is not only wrong; it is contrary to everything we hold dear as Americans.

The full text of McCain's statement can be found here.