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John McCain Re: Huma Abedin

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July 18, 2012
Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today delivered the following remarks
on the floor of the U.S. Senate on the matter of recent attacks made on Huma Abedin:
“Mr. President: Rarely do I come to the floor of this institution to discuss particular individuals.
But I understand how painful and injurious it is when a person’s character, reputation, and
patriotism are attacked without concern for fact or fairness. It is for that reason that I rise today
to speak in defense of Huma Abedin.
“Over the past decade, I have had the pleasure of coming to know Huma during her long and
dedicated service to Hillary Rodham Clinton, both in the United States Senate and now in the
Department of State. I know Huma to be an intelligent, upstanding, hard-working, and loyal
servant of our country and our government, who has devoted countless days of her life to
advancing the ideals of the nation she loves and looking after its most precious interests. That
she has done so while maintaining her characteristic decency, warmth, and good humor is a
testament to her ability to bear even the most arduous duties with poise and confidence.
“Put simply, Huma represents what is best about America: the daughter of immigrants, who has
risen to the highest levels of our government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and
her abiding commitment to the American ideals that she embodies so fully. I am proud to know
Huma, and to call her my friend.
“Recently, it has been alleged that Huma, a Muslim American, is part of a nefarious conspiracy
to harm the United States by unduly influencing U.S. foreign policy at the Department of State
in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. On June 13, five members of
Congress wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State, demanding that
he begin an investigation into the possibility that Huma and other American officials are using
their influence to promote the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood within the U.S. government.
The information offered to support these serious allegations is based on a report, ‘The Muslim
Brotherhood in America,’ produced by the Center for Security Policy.
“To say that the accusations made in both documents are not substantiated by the evidence they
offer is to be overly polite and diplomatic about it. It is far better, and more accurate, to talk
straight: These allegations about Huma, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing
less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American,
and a loyal public servant.
“The letter alleges that three members of Huma’s family are ‘connected to Muslim Brotherhood
operatives and/or organizations.’ Never mind that one of those individuals, Huma’s father,
passed away two decades ago. The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a
decision, or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend
credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government.
Nor does either document offer any evidence of a direct impact that Huma may have had on
one of the U.S. policies with which the authors of the letter and the producers of the report find
fault. These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations
of members of Huma’s family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United
States in any way. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need
to stop now.
“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.
“Some years ago, I had the pleasure, along with my friend, the Senator from South Carolina,
Senator Lindsey Graham, of traveling overseas with our colleague, then-Senator Hillary Clinton.
By her side, as always, was Huma, and I had the pleasure of seeing firsthand her hard work and
dedicated service on behalf of the former Senator from New York – a service that continues to
this day at the Department of State, and bears with it significant personal sacrifice for Huma.
“I have every confidence in Huma’s loyalty to our country, and everyone else should as well. All
Americans owe Huma a debt of gratitude for her many years of superior public service. I hope
these ugly and unfortunate attacks on her can be immediately brought to an end and put behind
us before any further damage is done to a woman, an American, of genuine patriotism and love
of country.”

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