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By W. Gardner Selby October 10, 2013

Louie Gohmert linked George Washington and Egyptian general

In her Oct. 3, 2013, opinion column, Gail Collins of the New York Times referred to U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler as among a couple dozen "unhinged" House Republicans keeping the government from being funded unless the Obamacare law is unplugged.

Collins wrote that this cast includes Gohmert, who had an "exciting time" with Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota "in Egypt on a recent fact-finding tour during which ... Gohmert compared the current general-in-charge, Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, to George Washington."

By email, Collins’ research aide, Isabella Moschen, pointed us to a New York Times news article posted online Sept. 8, 2013, describing a Cairo news conference featuring Bachmann, King and Gohmert.

The Times story said Gohmert "compared the leader of the military takeover, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, to George Washington."

The visiting Americans vowed to defend the $1.3 billion in annual American military aid to Egypt, according to the story, so its army could continue its fight against what Gohmert called "the bloodthirsty Muslim brothers."

"Stand strong, Egypt," Gohmert was quoted as saying. "Stand firm."

We checked Gohmert’s wording by watching a 15-minute YouTube video of part of the press conference. Here’s the relevant quote by Gohmert from the video: "George Washington, doing what no one had ever done before him, led a military in revolution, won the revolution and then resigned and went home. No one had ever done that. And we met in Gen. el-Sisi, a man who’s the leader of the military, who might have a shot at being elected president, but who’s more concerned about giving his life to help his country, Egypt."

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So, Gohmert did liken el-Sisi’s situation to that of Washington after his Revolutionary War victory.

Our ruling

Collins said Gohmert compared the current general-in-charge in Egypt to George Washington.

Gohmert linked the Egyptian general and Washington. But this statement could benefit from the clarification that Gohmert’s comparison was limited to each figure’s desire to put his country ahead of himself; he did not compare other aspects of their characters or achievements.

We rate this claim, which would have benefited from clarification, as Mostly True.

MOSTLY TRUE – The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.

Click here for more on the six PolitiFact ratings and how we select facts to check.

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