Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca shot back at a congressman who warned him during a congressional hearing Thursday that a Muslim group the sheriff supports is affiliated with terrorists and is “using” him.
The reference to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose Southern California branch Baca has allied with, came during a controversial House hearing on the question of whether American Muslims are becoming radicalized.
“You are aware” that CAIR is affiliated with Hamas, Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) said.
“No I’m not aware,” Baca interrupted.
“Let me bring this to your attention … I’m trying to get you to understand that they might be using you,” Cravaack said.
Baca, noticeably irritated, told the congressman that he is aware of no criminal allegations have been made against CAIR. If there were any such allegations, he said, “bring them to court.”
“We don’t play around with criminals in my world,” Baca said before the packed hearing.
The tense exchange wasn’t Baca’s first on the issue.
During a hearing last year, Baca cut off a congressman who asked the sheriff why he attended CAIR fund-raisers, despite the group’s “radical” speech. Baca called the line of questioning from then-Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) “un-American.”