During their whirlwind tour of Cairo Tuesday, two top GOP senators held the most extensive meeting to date between U.S. officials and senior officials in the embattled Muslim Brotherhood, whose supporters are fighting in the streets to overturn last month’s military takeover of Egypt.
Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also met with Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem El Beblawi, the leader of the military takeover Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, local political party leaders, and civil society representatives. But their meeting with Muslim Brotherhood leaders was perhaps the most important in their effort to help the administration push both sides back to the negotiating table and end the violence that has seen 400 Egyptians killed in just over a month.
“We met some Muslim Brotherhood representatives. They were senior level people,” McCain told The Daily Beast Tuesday in an exclusive interview from Cairo, adding that the officials requested to remain anonymous. “They believe things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. They demand that [deposed President Mohamed] Morsi get released. They believe it was a military coup and they are very far apart from the military and the new government.”
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