Congresswoman Michele Bachmann says her concern about the Muslim Brotherhood's influence on the U.S. government and allegations she made regarding links to fellow Congressman Keith Ellison are about national security, not religion.
Bachmann on Thursday did not answer directly a question from reporters whether she believes Ellison is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood — a claim she made during a radio interview last month.
"As a member of Congress who sits on the intelligence committee, my main concern is the safety, security and sovereignty of the American people. And that's my concern," Bachmann said. "My concern is about terrorism. I am not concerned about anyone's religion. It has absolutely nothing to do with that, that's completely misunderstood. My concern is about terrorism first and foremost."
Ellison, who represents Minneapolis, says Bachmann's suggestions are false.
Bachmann's comments were made at a series of meetings she hosted in her district to focus on jobs. She met with the chief executive of a drug store chain about cost-saving measures, and with officials in Sartell to talk about the future of the now-closed Verso Paper Mill site.
Bachmann pledged to work with Gov. Mark Dayton and the rest of the Congressional delegation to bring jobs back to the community.
"We want to get the jobs back," she said. "Even preceding that, it is more important the transition between the people who currently lost jobs and how they're going to be taken care of. And it appears that we've got that cushion kind of managed between unemployment benefits between their positions. So, that's good news. But that's only short term. That's not long term."