Indicted Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of California uploaded a video of himself in the dark on Thursday, narrating what he said was a “late night ride-along with U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, AZ.”
In the short video, Hunter says that he’s fifteen meters from the U.S.-Mexico border. The video then cuts to Hunter walking toward a fence, saying, “Here is the grand border wall in Yuma, Arizona. This is what we expect to stop people.”
“It looks pretty tough to cross, let me see if I can do it,” he continues, before climbing across the fence. “There we go, that’s how easy it is to cross the border here in Yuma, Arizona.”
Late night ride-along with U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, AZ. pic.twitter.com/azbsFCKvaV
— Rep. Duncan Hunter (@Rep_Hunter) April 18, 2019
Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democratic candidate running against Hunter, noticed the video and sent an email to the Times of San Diego, accusing Hunter of violating his parole by leaving the United States.
Hunter was indicted last summer on a long list of charges alleging that he routinely misused campaign finance funds — spending more than $250,000 of that money — on everything from vacations to video games. As a result, he is not allowed to leave the country as a condition of his release.
On Twitter, Campa-Najjar quipped, “Duncan, come out of the forrest [sic].”
What. Is. He. Doing?
Duncan, come out of the forrest, lose the @RickSantorum sweater vest and let’s debate the issues from healthcare to immigration.
You’re a congressman. https://t.co/peAJpnqHWI
— Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ACampaNajjar) April 18, 2019
But the story then took another strange turn. Hunter’s spokesperson told a Politico reporter that “Hunter remained in the U.S.” and accused Campa-Najjar of “trying to create a headline.”
Per @Rep_Hunter spox:
"Congressman Hunter remained in the U.S….I recognize our opponent is trying to create a headline, but I would encourage him and others to look and review a map" https://t.co/G4QuyIRcXv
— Jeremy B. White (@JeremyBWhite) April 18, 2019
A spokesperson for the Border Patrol then confirmed to the Times of San Diego that Hunter did not actually cross the border. The spokesperson said that the fence where Hunter claimed that he crossed the border “is approximately 75-100 feet from the border — the border is actually the river that’s west of that.”
In response to the news that Hunter only pretended to cross the border, Campa-Najjar tweeted, “Can Hunter’s spox please show him a map? Hunter falsely advertised he was 15 meters from Mexico.”