Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has invoked long-disputed conspiracy theories to suggest Huma Abedin, a close Clinton aide of Indian descent, had links to Islamic extremists.
“You know, by the way, take a look at where she worked...and at where her mother worked and works,” Trump said in a radio interview about Abedin.
Other Republicans have been less subtle, demanding in the past an investigation of those links, going so far as to allege she is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt.
Abedin, who served Clinton as her deputy chief of staff at the state department, has been under attack from Republicans for her role in her boss’s use of a private email server.
Abedin, whose father was from India and mother from Pakistan, announced on Monday she is separating from her husband Anthony Weiner, a one-time congressman found to have been involved in a new sexting scandal, his third.
“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband,” she said, adding, “Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”
She had been a target of conspiracy theories linking her to Islamic extremists, stemming from her brief association with the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, which is edited by her mother Saleha Mahmood Abedin, who is based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia.
The magazine was founded by Abedin’s father, Syed Zainul Abedin, who is of Indian origin. The family had shifted to Saudi Arabia from the US.
Trump invoked those same theories in the interview on Monday to suggest, without saying it in as many words unlike others who have been more direct, that Abedin was linked to extremism.