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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. John McCain is defending a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton against unsubstantiated allegations that her family has ties to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

McCain spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday to repudiate Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's charges against Huma Abedin. Without mentioning Bachmann's name, McCain called the attacks "unwarranted and unfounded."

He said Abedin, the daughter of immigrants, represents the best about America. He said the attacks from the lawmaker reflects ignorance and defames the spirit of the nation.

Bachmann made the allegations in a letter to another lawmaker.

Abedin has been a constant presence at Clinton's side, working for her when Clinton was a New York senator and presidential candidate. She is the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.