Excerpt:

President Obama came to the defense of an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday night, countering conservatives who have called her a security risk because of supposed ties to Islamic extremists.

Hosting an iftar dinner at the White House marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Mr. Obama singled out Huma Abedin, the deputy chief of staff to Mrs. Clinton who has come under fire from a handful of House Republicans who made unsubstantiated suggestions that she was among Muslim Americans with terrorist ties who have infiltrated the government.

Mr. Obama called Ms. Abedin "a good friend" and said she has "worked tirelessly in the White House, in the U.S. Senate and most exhaustingly at the State Department, where she has been nothing less than extraordinary in representing our country and the democratic values that we hold dear. Senator Clinton has relied on her expertise and so have I."


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