Wasat Party leader says ‘thugs’ remarks out of context

A moderate Islamist politician has denied making remarks reportedly accusing Egypt’s National Security Agency of “running an army of thugs,” saying that his words, which he quoted from President Mohamed Morsy, had been taken out of context.

News reports had quoted Wasat Party chairman Abul Ela Mady as saying during a meeting with junior party members that the president told him “the intelligence service had formed a 300,000-strong army of thugs.”

But Mady said Wednesday he was explaining how the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak used state institutions to clamp down on its opponents, adding that some “took the remarks out of context to stir political confusion and to make them appear as if they were describing a present situation or accusing a patriotic state body.”

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