The Trump administration is set to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, the White House said.
The designation will introduce new travel and economic sanctions against the Egyptian Islamist group, which has a membership of over one million.
“The President has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Tuesday.
Notably, Democrat leadership, particularly former President Obama, had a more than friendly relationship with the Muslim organization in the aftermath of the U.S.-backed Arab Spring that saw the overthrow of then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
In fact, Obama and neocons like the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) held regular meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood leadership at the White House after the massive unrest that followed the Arab Spring.
“The meeting Tuesday with working-level [national security staff] officials is just one in a series of meetings between US officials, members of Congress, and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor had said in 2012.
“Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and others have met with members of the MB during their visits to Egypt, and US officials, as part of their routine diplomatic outreach, continue to meet with representatives as well.”
Egypt swiftly issued life sentences in prison to Muslim Brotherhood leadership in 2013 for their role in the Arab Spring.
In 2015, the Obama administration defended its decision to continue hosting the Muslim Brotherhood even after they had been designated by the UK as a terrorist group and banned from the country when an 18-month investigation found ties to Hamas and other terrorist networks.
The “political repression of non-violent Islamist groups has historically contributed to the radicalization of the minority of their members who would consider violence,” Obama’s White House said. “The de-legitimization of non-violent political groups does not promote stability, and instead advances the very outcomes that such measures are intended to prevent.”
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