CAIRO — Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on Friday dismissed comments by Secretary of State John Kerry accusing them of stealing the revolution, saying Washington backed the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Unrest has spiked in Egypt since the military overthrew Morsi in July following popular protests against his one-year rule and accusations that he concentrated too much power in the hands of the Brotherhood.
Kerry had defended the army's action and Washington said Morsi had failed to live up to calls for an inclusive, transparent government based on democratic principles.
Morsi was Egypt's first freely elected president taking over from the military junta which replaced veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak after he was ousted by massive protests in 2011.
But on Wednesday Kerry delivered his harshest assessment to date of Morsi and his Islamist backers saying the revolt "got stolen by the one single-most organized entity in the state, which was the Brotherhood."
The group's secretary general Mahmoud Hussein hit back saying the Brotherhood won parliamentary and presidential elections after Mubarak's ouster through "transparent" polls organized by the military which was ruling the country at the time and observed by former President Jimmy Carter.
Hussein charged that the Obama administration "backed and participated in the coup" that toppled Morsi.
The United States "which promotes democracy and freedoms at home is the biggest supporter of dictatorship and repression," Hussein said.
Since Morsi's ouster, Egypt's military-installed interim government has cracked down on the Brotherhood with hundreds behind bars and top leaders, including Morsi, put on trial on charges of inciting deadly violence.
The clampdown came after hundreds were killed in clashes that erupted when security forces dispersed two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo in August.