State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki admitted Monday that the information she provided to the press about a visiting delegation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders had been false.
Psaki claimed the controversial meeting of key Brotherhood leaders “was organized and funded by Georgetown University,” but admitted it wasn’t true after the Washington Free Beacon contacted the university.
According to Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon:
Psaki clarified her original comments made on Jan. 29 during a Monday meeting with reporters.
The meeting between the Brotherhood allies and the State Department sparked controversy in Washington and Cairo, where Egyptian government officials expressed anger at the Obama administration for hosting representatives of a group they consider to be terrorists.
The State Department meeting was attended by a deputy assistant secretary for democracy, human rights, and labor and other State Department officials.
While Psaki continued to defend the decision to host the Brotherhood allies at the State Department, she clarified that Georgetown actually had nothing to do with the delegation.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t have the accurate information on one small piece. The meeting was set up by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a nonprofit. So the visit was not funded, as you know, by us or the U.S. Government, but it was also not funded by Georgetown,” Psaki said.
When asked by a reporter “if there’s been any rethink in—within the building about the appropriateness of this visit, considering what happened afterwards and the photographs that some of the participants took,” Psaki responded, “No.”
While at the State Department last week, one member of the delegation, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol, according to his Facebook page.
Psaki went on to say that the Obama administration remains comfortable entertaining the Brotherhood.
“Are you—is the building comfortable with continuing to do business with this center, this group?” a reporter asked.
“Yes. Yes,” Psaki responded.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned the visit and expressed frustration with the State Department for hosting the Brotherhood-aligned delegation, which was first reported by the Free Beacon.
“These statements are incomprehensible to me, we do not understand that there will be such a communication with the elements involved in terrorist acts to intimidate the Egyptians,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri was quoted as saying in the regional press.
“The Brotherhood is not a political party,” but “a terrorist organization,” Shukri said.
Just days after the Brotherhood-aligned delegation was hosted at the State Department, the Islamist organization released a statement calling for “a long, uncompromising jihad.”