White House guarded on King’s Muslim hearing

March 10, 2011

The White House declined to condemn the controversial hearing on Capitol Hill about American Muslims and the threat of “homegrown” terrorism Thursday.

Repeatedly asked at a White House briefing about the administration’s views on the hearing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “Congressional involvement in this issue is welcomed by this administration because we think it's an important issue.”

Carney repeated the comments of other White House officials that “we don’t believe that in America we should practice guilt by association,” but declined to say whether the administration thought Muslims were being unfairly targeted by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who called the hearings in his role as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

The administration had attempted to give its view on the hearings through a speech Sunday by Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, who said: “When it comes to preventing violent extremism and terrorism in the United States, Muslim Americans are not part of the problem, you're part of the solution.” McDonough, like Carney, did not specifically refer to King or the hearings.

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