She is the 40-year-old longtime personal aide to Hillary Clinton, the woman who follows her boss around like a slender, colorful pack mule. A Muslim, Ms. Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was raised in Saudi Arabia. During the summer of 2010, Abedin married now disgraced former New York City-based congressman Anthony Weiner. Interestingly enough, former President Bill Clinton performed the couple’s wedding ceremony.
Like her boss, Abedin was able to find it in her heart to forgive Mr. Weiner, whose name is seldom associated with her these days. Mr. Weiner was publically humiliated for sending pictures of himself (apparently) slightly aroused and dressed only in tight underwear to unsuspecting female strangers. Abedin was able to weather the storm with help from her boss, but Weiner dropped from the political grid after resigning from Congress and falling far short in a subsequent New York City mayoral primary election. He presently works for a NYC law firm.
In 2009, Abedin was appointed deputy chief of staff to Clinton in the State Department under a controversial arrangement as “special government employee” created by the department to allow her to work for “private clients” as a consultant while also serving as an adviser to the Secretary of State. Ironically, or not, Abedin has been accused of collecting about $10,000 in salary over-payments by taking time off without logging those days as vacation or sick time, effectively collecting double pay for the time in question. The Obama Justice Department declined to prosecute her. Her boss, Hillary Clinton, was never charged for allegedly overbilling the Rose Law firm she once worked for – claiming she lost subpoenaed records that eventually showed up in her living quarters at the White House.
Former first lady Hillary Clinton selected Abedin as an aide in 1996 and in 1998 Abedin was also an assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs as well as back-up to Clinton’s personal aide. She assumed the role of Hillary Clinton’s aide and personal advisor during Clinton’s 2000 U.S. Senate campaign in New York.
Allegations of double and even triple dipping have plagued the longtime Clinton aide for years. Under the Clinton State Department arrangement, Abedin did consultant work for Teneo, a strategic consulting firm whose clients included Coca-Cola and MF Global and served as a paid consultant to the Clinton Foundation, while continuing her role as “body woman” to Clinton. According to the New York Times, an associate of Abedin’s said that the arrangement also allowed her to “work from home” in New York City, rather than actually report to the State Department’s headquarters in Washington.
In a letter dated June 13, 2012, to the State Department Inspector General, five Republican members of Congress—Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Thomas J. Rooney of Florida, and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia—claimed that Abedin “has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. The five members of Congress alleged that Abedin had “immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations” which they said were “potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining a security clearance” and questioned why Abedin had not been “disqualified for a security clearance.
The Clinton campaign and Abedin herself and political operatives have denied the top Clinton aide has connections to Muslim extremist organizations.