On Monday, Roll Call reported that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is denying that he knows a man who was flashing a “white power” sign in an official Fourth of July campaign photo.
His campaign initially claimed that the man, Kris Wyrick, was a “stranger in the crowd” after deleting the Facebook and Twitter images of him posing next to Hunter holding up the “OK” sign, which white nationalists have appropriated because the three upright fingers next to the joined index and thumb vaguely resemble the letters “WP” for “white power.”
But Wyrick disputed this claim, insisting that “I know him personally. And I know his family personally.” The campaign has since admitted that Hunter does at least know Wyrick from some other campaign events.
This marks the latest of many political blunders for the heavily pro-Trump Hunter, including admitting he desecrated an enemy corpse while in the Marines and posing for a photo with a “border wall” that was considerably inland from the border.
Most notably, Hunter has been mired in controversy since he and his wife were indicted last year for stealing campaign funds for personal use and falsifying spending reports. Campaign expenses were reportedly used for everything from trips to Europe to dental appointments to bar tabs. He reportedly tried to dress up some of these campaign expenses as going to “wounded warriors,” and texted “tell the Navy to go f**k themselves” after they refused to let him tour a base to make it look like his luxury vacation was a legitimate campaign event.
Hunter initially tried to blame the whole thing on his wife, but this was thrown into doubt after prosecutors alleged he also spent a great deal of campaign money on mistresses. His wife is now reportedly cooperating with prosecutors.
Despite this, he narrowly won re-election to his heavily conservative Southern California district in 2018, partly due to a series of Islamophobic attacks on his Palestinian-Mexican opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar, who isn’t even a Muslim. Campa-Najjar is planning to run again in 2020.