(Radio Iowa) – Republican Congressman Steve King has returned from an overseas trip that included stops in Egypt and King says he was told the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in the terror attacks that struck America 12 years ago today.
“That source is a very reliable source and it’s very sensitive and if I were to clarify the source of that, then it would be a political incident and I’d just as soon not to initiate that,” King said Tuesday, “but I will tell you that I have a high degree of confidence in the information that was provided to us.”
Two months ago Egypt’s military removed the Muslim Brotherhood leader who had been elected president of Egypt and installed the nation’s top judge as Egypt’s president. King traveled overseas with two other Republican members of the House. The trio met with Egypt’s new president, Egypt’s top general and the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria who leads as many as 14 million Christians in Egypt.
“We also met with some expatriate Syrian Christians later on in Brussels a couple of days ago,” King said during a telephone conference call with Iowa reporters. “We had other meetings like that with experts and people that were Americans that were working and living and influential in that part of the world. Many of them were the kind of meetings that you would call ‘off the record’ kinds of meetings.”
King also met with leaders in the United Arab Emirates, including the crown prince.
“We had a very interesting and engaging meeting with him as well as a number of the other leadership of the UAE,” King said, “so that was helpful to have a closed-door session where we could speak frankly about the relationships between the United States, the UAE and many of the Middle East countries and, of course, Syria and Egypt was one of those topics.”
King, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and a fellow Republican congressman from Texas held a news conferernce in Cairo over the weekend that drew controversy from some quarters as the trio praised Egypt’s military, which removed the country’s first democratically elected president and cracked down on members of his Muslim Brotherhood. During his conference call with Iowa reporters on Tuesday afternoon, King shot back at his critics and said not only was the Muslim Brotherhood involved in 9/11, but the group was involved in the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya a year ago on the anniversary of 9/11.
“I have received evidence that there was a foundation there among the Muslim Brotherhood in each of those cases and it’s not something that I think that they can just simply say is wrong. They would have to be the ones to prove the negative,” King said. “It takes a fair amount of self-confidence, sometimes misplaced self-confidence, to be so critical with a basis to do so.”
King was asked twice during his telephone news conference to reveal the source of his information.
“I think I’ll just stick with my answer of very well-placed sources within the Middle East,” King said, “and I think that it will be verified over time.”
King’s overseas trip started with a stop in Tokyo and included a visit to Brussels after he’d been in the Middle East.