Rep. Duncan Hunter struggles to explain his ties to a white supremacist


Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is offering conflicting answers to a photo he took with a white supremacist who describes the congressman as a friend.

Kris Wyrick flashes white power signs, wears clothes with the logos of white supremacist organizations, and describes Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) as "a great man" and a friend, CQ Roll Call reported Monday.

But when Roll Call asked Hunter about his relationship with Wyrick after a photo of the two of them together was posted on Hunter's Facebook page, Hunter struggled to come up with an answer.

At first, a Hunter staffer described Wyrick as "a stranger in a parade" who just wanted a photo with the congressman.

But Roll Call uncovered a 2017 video with Wyrick describing Hunter as a friend and "a great man." In the same video, Wyrick says, "People can call me a white supremacist all they want. I wear that label as soon as I wake up in the morning."

In another photo, without Hunter, Wyrick is wearing a short with the logo for the American Guard, categorized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and described as "hardcore white supremacists" by the Anti-Defamation League.

After Roll Call asked again about his relationship with Wyrick, Hunter's staff backtracked and gave a different answer. The new answer, from Hunter's deputy chief of staff Michael Harrison, was that Hunter and Wyrick are both from the small town of Alpine and had seen each other at events around town. Harrison insisted that Hunter "is not friends with this individual," but clearly they are not strangers as the staff initially said.

Given Hunter's racist campaign against his likely 2020 opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, a friendship with a white supremacist would not be all that surprising. In a recent mailer, Hunter implied Campa-Najjar, a Christian, is linked to Islamic terrorists and a danger to America. The language mirrors rhetoric Hunter used before the 2018 election when he said Muslims are "disgusting" and implied that the United States is at war with all of Islam.

Aside from his questionable relationship with a proud white supremacist, Hunter is also facing legal trouble. Last year, he was indicted for misusing campaign funds to live a lavish lifestyle, including expensive family vacations, nights out to the theater, and even flying his family's pet bunny across the country. His wife, who was his campaign manager, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Soon after she did so, prosecutors released evidence showing Hunter used campaign funds to carry out multiple affairs, including at least one with a lobbyist and another with a staffer.

Hunter's relationship with a white supremacist is only the latest in a string of embarrassing stories focused on Hunter's misdeeds.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.