When attempting to understand why the Obama administration appears to have such an abounding affinity for Egypt’s ousted Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Mursi, there are probably multiple reasons but one very big one is likely the relationship between the mother of Huma Abedin – Hillary Clinton’s former Deputy Chief of Staff – and Mursi’s wife. Both Saleha Abedin and Egypt’s now “former” first lady – Najla Ali Mahmoud – constituted two of the Muslim Sisterhood’s sixty-three leaders. Walid uncovered the names of the Sisterhood’s leaders back in June of 2011.
In 2011, as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was being removed from power, the Barack Obama administration cheered the ‘Arab Spring’ as well as the later election of a Muslim Brotherhood president – Mohammed Mursi. The billions of dollars in foreign aid to Egypt from the Obama administration continued despite the protestations of many in Congress.
Last year, Huma Abedin’s name was the source of controversy prompted by Rep. Michele Bachmann’s letter to the State Department’s Deputy Inspector General (Hillary was cc’d) in which Abedin’s familial connections to the Muslim Brotherhood were rightfully questioned. As this controversy was at its peak, Hillary was in Cairo expressing her support for Mursi, two weeks after he was sworn in as Egypt’s president at a time when he was wrestling the military for control of the country.
Via the Los Angeles Times:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met for the first time Saturday with new President Mohamed Morsi in a fresh push to strengthen U.S.-Egyptian relations as the country enters an era of unpredictability in which an Islamist leader is clashing with a secular military over control of the nation.
The Obama administration – through Hillary – was making it crystal clear that it supported Mursi over the military. Hillary was quoted as saying:
“I have come to Cairo to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and their democratic transition,” she said. “We want to be a good partner and we want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people.”
A couple of weeks later, Clinton was asked about the concerns raised about her deputy, Huma, and said it has “no place in our politics”. What Clinton didn’t say or reveal at the time that the premise everyone was operating under – that Huma was indeed Hillary’s deputy at the time – was apparently incorrect.
In May of this year, the New York Times reported that Abedin “quietly (left) her position as deputy chief of staff (to Hillary Clinton0” in June of 2012, which was the same month that Bachmann’s letter was sent to Hillary and the State Department’s Deputy IG.
At the time she defended Huma – July 30, 2012 – Hillary allowed everyone to incorrectly believe Huma was still her deputy, if the New York Times article is correct. Clinton was one in a long line of Huma defenders as well. Barack Obama defended Huma at a White House iftar dinner less than two weeks after Hillary did. Like Clinton before him, Obama made no mention of the alleged departure of Abedin from her job as deputy chief of staff:
Here is the video (fast forward to 5:20 mark):
Since Mursi was sworn in last year, many of raised legitimate concerns about the amount of aid the Obama administration subsequently sent him. Now that Mursi has been removed – at least temporarily – the same Obama administration is sending signals that the aid will be cut.
On the day of Mursi’s removal, Obama was quoted as saying the following, via the Hill:
“The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people,” Obama said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution.
“I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.”
Obama was concerned about the suspension of a constitution inspired by Sharia law?
Would not Saleha Abedin be a supporter of Mursi? Fortunately for her, she lives in Saudi Arabia.
As has become obvious, the coziness between Obama and Mursi is not lost on the Egyptian people.