Obama defends ‘American patriot' Huma Abedin amid Republican attacks

President Barack Obama forcefully defended trusted Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin on Friday, praising her as "an American patriot" in the face of charges from Republicans like Representative Michele Bachmann that she is secretly tied to Muslim extremists.

Speaking at a White House Iftar dinner to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Obama hailed Abedin as "a good friend" who has "worked tirelessly in the White House, in the U.S. Senate, and most exhaustingly at the State Department — where she has been nothing less than extraordinary in representing our country and the democratic values that we hold dear."

"Senator Clinton has relied on her expertise, and so have I," he said. "The American people owe her a debt of gratitude, because Huma is an American patriot, and an example of what we need in this country: more public servants with her sense of decency, her grace, and her generosity of spirit."

Obama's comments came nearly one month after Republican Senator John McCain took to the Senate floor to defend Abedin, who is also known for her marriage to disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner.

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