House Speaker John Boehner says it's dangerous for a fellow Republican to allege that an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has family ties to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann wrote a letter to the State Department last month with other Republicans about Huma Abedin (HOO'-muh AB'-uh-deen). The letter said Abedin's late father, mother and brother were connected to Muslim Brotherhood operations. Bachmann asked in a separate letter how Abedin received security clearance.

Boehner says that while he doesn't know Abedin personally, "from everything I do know of her, she has a sterling character, and I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous."

On Wednesday another prominent Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, also came to the defense of Abedin, who is Muslim.