San Diego

Rep. Duncan Hunter Makes Controversial Remarks at Republican Meeting: Recording

Rep. Duncan Hunter was indicted last month for misusing campaign funds

Rep. Duncan Hunter made explosive remarks on everything from immigration and his own indictment to his political opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar at a small meeting with constituents Monday night. 

No cameras were allowed inside the fewer than 70-person meeting with the Intermountain Republican Women Federated, but NBC 7 received an audio recording of his 34-minute speech.

The speech was recorded by a Times of San Diego reporter who attended the event. Hunter's campaign has confirmed it’s him on the recording.

During his speech, he spoke about his indictment, saying, “When someone says to me that they pled guilty to a federal crime, I don't believe they should be in jail until I hear more about it. I give the benefit of the doubt to the person in jail now over the U.S. prosecutors. I have never seen so much corruption.”

“The only oversight they have on them is them,” he said, referring to the corruption he perceives in the Justice Department. “And they will do whatever they think is necessary. I mean what Rosenstein said? And his answer was 'I’m joking?' Did you guys see what Rosenstein said? That we ought to wear wires and so then we can invoke the 25th amendment? That’s a coup, folks.”

He also talked about his Congressional opponent Democrat Ammar Campa Najjar who is challenging Hunter in the 50th district this November. “My opponent's name up until about three months ago was Ammar Yasser Najjar – named after Yasser Arafat, I kid you not. His grandfather was the mastermind and perpetrator behind the 1972 Munich attack at the Olympics,” he said. “And he changed his name from Ammar Yassar Najjar to Ammar Campa Najjar to sound more Hispanic.”

“You have radical Islamist propaganda being pushed on the kids in the San Diego school district. Have you seen that? Where they put them on prayer rugs? We gotta honor every religion,” he added.

On Immigration, he asked why people think they deserve to be Americans. “Why do you think you deserve to come here?” he asked rhetorically. “The answer is you don't. Sorry that you were born in Africa or somewhere bad. Why don't you do what these men [referring to photos of servicemembers] did? What I did and fight for your country?

Ammar Campa-Najjar’s campaign responded to the recording, saying Hunter’s speech was the desperate ravings of a congressman who believes he's above the law and has lost his grip on reality. Campa-Najjar is a Christian, and he was also thoroughly vetted and given a security clearance for his former positions at the White House. He told NBC 7 he is not responsible for his family's actions, just as Hunter's wife is not responsible for his actions.

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