Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has had better weeks. On Monday, he spent the morning in federal court. He was there for a status update on an indictment against him. Hunter, along with his wife, has been indicted by federal prosecutors for misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds. The couple reportedly used campaign funds for vacations, travel, and their children’s private school tuition. They characterized the tuition payments as “charitable contributions.” In total, the couple is accused of using over a quarter million dollars on personal expenses.
Later, after the Monday federal court appearance, Hunter went to a campaign event where he addressed about 70 people at the Intermountain Republican Women Federated. During his remarks, Hunter went on a racist tirade, primarily focused on denigrating Muslims.
Hunter, like his party’s leader President Trump, made outlandish claims without a shred of evidence to support them. He said, Radical Islamists are trying to infiltrate the U.S. government,” Hunter continued, “You have more Islamists run for office this year at the federal level than ever before in U.S. history.”
While it is true that this year’s election cycle has seen more Muslims running for elected office than in any year previously, there is no reason to believe that radicalized Muslims are trying to infiltrate the government.
Hunter did not bother to pretend that his assertions were based on anything other than racism and hatred. At one point, he said of Muslims, “they are disgusting.” He added, “not just a religion. That’s why we’re fighting them. In Iraq In Afghanistan. In Syria. In the Philippines.”
Hunter also railed against immigration. He echoed the standard white nationalist line that Europe has been overrun by Muslim immigrants. He said, “It took 10 years to do what the Arabs couldn’t do in 2,000 years.” He went on, “Amsterdam, Paris, London, Germany … they are done. Thank God we’re such a large nation with large bodies of water on our sides. That’s the only reason it has not happened to us.”
General attacks on Muslims as a whole were not enough for Hunter. He targeted his attacks directly on his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar. He said that Campa was named after Yasser Arafat and made outlandish accusations about Campa’s paternal grandfather, a man Campa never even knew. He said that Campa is part of the radical Muslim effort to infiltrate the government.
Of course, there was no truth in the accusations. Campa-Najjar is, in fact, a devout Christian. His campaign responded to the attack saying, “These are the desperate ravings of a congressman who believes he is above the law and has lost his grip on reality. Ammar is a Christian, worked at a church as a janitor and in youth ministry. He also was thoroughly vetted and given security clearance for his positions at the White House and administration.”