A GOP congressman who suggested that Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin had ties to a terrorist group said Monday GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump should not have seized on news of another scandal involving her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).
“I think this is a sad story. Anthony Weiner is a bit of a weirdo. Hillary Clinton didn’t marry him, and she didn’t hire him. She hired Huma Abedin. So to make the leap that Anthony Weiner is a security threat, I disagree with Trump,” Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Duffy, a Trump supporter, said the GOP nominee made “a mistake” in politicizing the news that Weiner texted lewd pictures to a woman, including one that featured his young son. In a statement on Monday, Trump suggested that Weiner may have had access to “highly classified information,” attempting to link him to Clinton’s email controversy.
“I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information,” Trump said in a statement. “Who knows what he learned and who he told? It’s just another example of Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment. It is possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this.”
Last week, Duffy criticized Clinton by suggesting that Abedin is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood ― which some countries refer to as a terror group ― repeating a falsehood that was first raised by former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in 2012, when Clinton was serving as secretary of state and Abedin was her deputy chief of staff.
“Why aren’t we talking about Huma and her ties to the Muslim Brotherhood? Why aren’t we talking about the fact that she was an editor for a Sharia newspaper?” Duffy asked CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
When Keilar informed him that Abedin does not in fact have ties to the group and was not an editor for a Sharia newspaper, Duffy insisted that “the information is out there that she does have these ties.”
Abedin announced on Monday that she and Weiner, who have a young son, Jordan, are separating after 6 years of marriage.
“I’ve got eight kids. This is a young boy whose parents are splitting up. This is a sad day for that little boy,” Duffy said. “We should leave the politics out of that separation.”
Duffy also worried that Trump’s tendency to launch personal attacks at his opponents “is a distraction from the main issues that Americans are focused on.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.