JANE SKINNER: You probably know that House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, raised a lot of eyebrows when she met with Syria's president in the past couple of days. Well, more eyebrows being raised when top democratic congressman, Majority Leader of the House, Steny Hoyer, word that he met with a leading member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood - it's an outlawed opposition group. This, guy, we should point out though, is a lawmaker in Egypt. Joining us now is counter-terrorism analyst, Steve Emerson. Steve, before I let you opine on this because I know you have some pretty strong feelings about this group and about the fact that Hoyer did meet with them. I want to point out a couple of things: this guy is elected, he is a lawmaker in Egypt. Hoyer was also there with a full delegation. He was not the only member of Congress to meet with this guy. This meeting also happened, a couple of different meetings, one of them happened at the U.S. Ambassador's residence. So on some level, I guess, sanctioned by somebody affiliated with the U.S. Government. Now go ahead.
STEVEN EMERSON: Jane, I fully agree with you. I think that the responsibility here lies equally with the U.S. Ambassador for inviting an elected member of parliament who happens to be a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood. There's no reason why the U.S. Ambassador would have invited this person if not for giving him legitimacy. So I think the responsibility lies with the U.S. Government, as well as with Mr. Hoyer for not checking out who he was meeting with. After all, if I am meeting with a delegation of foreigners, I want to know who I am meeting with. I do not want to legitimize somebody from Jean-Marie Le Pen's party. I want to know who is in the room. So I don't think that it's fair to characterize Mr. Hoyer as bearing all responsibility here.
SKINNER: And tell me, the concerns about this group that the American government has historically had are what? I mean ties to you know, you name it, all the bad players: Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri came from them?
EMERSON: Muslim Brotherhood is the parent and the mother of all Sunni extremist groups. Hamas came from them, Islamic Jihad, al Qaeda, al Nahda. Every single radical Islamic group came from the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a totalitarian organization, it is mistakenly characterized as a nonviolent organization. But in fact it generates, it nurtures all of the extremist groups. It is responsible for the killing of Anwar Sadat, and it breeds violence through the teachings of jihad that it disseminates through its publications, and through the subgroups that it creates around the world. It has organizations in Europe and the United States that operate under different names, but they're all committed to jihad.
SKINNER: So why would somebody, even if he's an elected official in Egypt, why would somebody affiliated with that group with that kind of history ever be welcomed at say the U.S. Ambassador's residence?
EMERSON: You raise an excellent question, and in fact it's a question that we've been raising in the United States here because there have been groups that are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood that the U.S Government and the State Department have been meeting with consistently for the last few years. Not just during the 1990's during the Clinton administration, but also during the Bush administration. And I think it's scandalous that we have legitimized some of these groups at the expense of legitimately courageous moderate Islamic groups that have renounced jihad and have renounced the Muslim Brotherhood. There's a real split in the administration and this reflects it.
SKINNER: And Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq has emerged over the weekend and called, not explicitly, for an armed struggle against coalition troops there, but certainly for demonstrations against them. Any importance to the timing here on the message?
EMERSON: Well, I think this is quite indicative of the results of the bilateral Iran negotiations. Anybody who's been calling for Iran negotiations - as has been carried out in the last few weeks and pressured by Democrats on Capitol Hill as a result of the Iraq Study Group - now sees the results. Muqtada al-Sadr would never have called for killing American troops had it not been for a blessing from the Iranians. And I think this is the result directly of Ahmadinejad (UI word) his oats after he feels victory from releasing the British sailors and marines.
SKINNER: Steve Emerson, counter-terrorism analyst and author of American Jihad. Steve, thank you.
EMERSON: You're welcome.