House members meet with Muslim Brotherhood candidate


Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's top financial figure Khayrat el-Shater and candidate for president. (Amr Nabil/AP)

The Brotherhood’s surprise move Saturday to run its chief financier and strategist — reneging on prior commitments not to run anyone for president — was a political bombshell, worrying liberals and secularists and even splitting the Brotherhood.

Members of the bipartisan House Democracy Partnership,which brings together U.S. lawmakers and those from countries with less-established democratic traditions, cautioned against placing too much significance in their Monday meeting with el-Shater.

The meeting was scheduled before the controversial presidential nomination, Rep. Gerry E. Connolly (R-Va.) said at a Cairo press conference. “I would not read much into it,” he added, according to thedailynewsegypt.com

The delegation, which has gone often to Arab Spring countries — they were in Libya just before the Cairo stop — also included chairman Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), ranking member Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) and Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and Erik Paulsen. They took off Tuesday for Kosovo and Macedonia.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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