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Rep. Peter King called for the resignation Friday of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice for initially saying that the deadly Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was spontaneous.
“I believe that this was such a failure of foreign policy messag[ing] and leadership, such a misstatement of facts as was known at the time … for her to go on all of those shows and in effect be our spokesman for the world and be misinforming the American people and our allies and countries around the world, to me, somebody has to pay the price for this,” the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee told CNN.
King ... well known for an assertion he once made that "80 to 85 percent" of the mosques in the United States are controlled by radical imams.
King now dismisses the comment as inconsequential, saying in an interview that he has no idea if the estimate is correct.
This all started with a State Department forum in early 1999 on Islamic extremism that attracted virtually no media attention. That is, until a few months later, when virtually every major Muslim organization in the United States issued a joint statement condemning the remarks by Sheikh Hisham Kabbani as "unsubstantiated allegations that could have a profoundly negative impact on ordinary American Muslims."
Kabbani offered no evidence to support this assertion and has provided little evidence since.
In the interview, King said he did not rely just on Kabbani's statement but also on testimony before a Senate panel in 2003 by Stephen Schwartz, a Muslim convert who at the time was affiliated with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
Schwartz did not identify these community leaders, though before this appearance he had previously attributed this estimate to Kabbani's statement at the State Department.