Last week, CNN contributor Dana Loesch claimed a State Department official has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood -- even as her CNN co-workers Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper dismissed such charges as "McCarthy-like."
On her July 19 radio show, Loesch was discussing charges initially brought by Rep. Michele Bachmann, who in June sent a series of letters to federal agencies claiming that "individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood" are influencing State Department policies. Bachmann singled out Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin -- who is also married to former Rep. Anthony Weiner -- and claimed that Abedin's family has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood; she later openly wondered how Abedin "was able to avoid being disqualified for a security clearance."
Loesch discussed Bachmann's Brotherhood infiltration theory with anti-Islam activist Brigitte Gabriel. When Gabriel said that it was "about time our government begins an investigation into the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into our government," Loesch agreed, saying, "Absolutely," then added:
LOESCH: Looking especially at how some of our foreign policy has been handled, Hillary Clinton essentially siding with the Muslim Brotherhood candidate in Egypt, and then it was discovered that her top aide -- Huma Abedin -- is essentially a member of the female version of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Sisterhood. All of this -- it seems enough to me to pose questions as to why our government is becoming so close with a group that has been so hostile to the United States, has fought against the United States, has sided with terrorists, and is a very oppressive regime that believes in Sharia law.
Bachmann's letters have received bipartisan condemnation -- Sen. John McCain even blasted the accusations from the floor of the Senate -- for failing to support her charges with concrete evidence. Indeed, Loesch's colleagues at CNN also criticized Bachmann's charges.
On his July 17 show, host Anderson Cooper said that Bachmann's evidence was "questionable at best." He laid out her guilt-by-association claims in a graphic and said:
COOPER: So that's how many degrees of separation Bachmann's claim is based on. Huma Abedin's deceased father, who started an organization decades ago, had the support of a guy who had another organization that might have had the support of another organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. And because of that, Huma Abedin might be some sort of spy or infiltrator and deserves to be investigated.
Wolf Blitzer also dismissed Bachmann's claims, calling her charges "McCarthy-like" on the July 19 broadcast of his show. After a heated back-and-forth with Democratic lobbyist Hilary Rosen about Bachmann and her letters, Blitzer finally said, "It's an outrageous, McCarthy-like charge, to be sure, and she does owe Huma -- who I know well -- an apology."
This is not the first time Loesch has been at odds with her CNN colleagues -- in January, a number of CNN journalists criticized Loesch for praising U.S. Marines who allegedly urinated on the dead bodies of Taliban members.
Research intern Ausan Al-Eryani contributed to this item.