WASHINGTON — Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, shot back Tuesday at critics of statements made during his recent trip to Egypt with two GOP colleagues, Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
The trio often can be found at rallies together, and they generally share a hardline conservative perspective on major policy questions, as well as a penchant for colorful, provocative statements.
A video of the three in Egypt garnered attention from national news organizations. Experts questioned their claims about the Muslim Brotherhood and their full-throated support of the military's ouster of Egypt's previous president.
In the video, Bachmann also made statements suggesting ties existed between the Muslim Brotherhood and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The New York Times quoted Samer Shehata, a political scientist at the University of Oklahoma who studies Egypt and the Brotherhood.
“Shehata called the lawmakers' statements 'utterly absurd' and compared the (video) to 'a “Saturday Night Live” skit — unbelievable, ludicrous, almost comic if it wasn't so painful,' ” the newspaper wrote.
Tuesday, during a call with reporters, King defended Bachmann's statements.
King said he had received evidence tying the Muslim Brotherhood to both the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and last year's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. He said his information comes from “very well-placed sources within the Middle East.”
Pressed for more details, King declined to specify even the country from which the information originated.
“That source is a very reliable source and it is very sensitive,” King said. “If I were to clarify the source of it, then it would be a political incident. And I'd just as soon not initiate that.”