New Duncan Hunter Ad Claims His Opponent Is Backed by the Muslim Brotherhood

“These are the desperate ravings of a congressman who…has lost his grip on reality,” his opponent’s staff has said of the congressman.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting on September 26. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom/ZUMA

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On Wednesday, a spokesman for California Rep. Duncan Hunter told the Los Angeles Times that Hunter had never suggested his opponent, Palestinian Mexican American Ammar Campa-Najjar, is a Muslim (Campa-Najjar is a Christian). But that same day, Hunter released an ad accusing Campa-Najjar of receiving campaign support from the Muslim Brotherhood, trying to infiltrate the government, and hiding a family member’s “ties to terrorism.” 

“[Hunter] never made the claim that his opponent is Muslim,” spokesman Mike Harrison told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s for his opponent to answer.” Harrison was trying to clarify what the candidate had said about his opponent’s religion during a Monday speech to a Republican women’s group in San Diego, in which Hunter alluded to many of the same claims found in his ad.

The 30-second ad says Campa-Najjar is attempting to “infiltrate Congress,” highlighting his grandfather’s involvement in the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972 (the organization that committed the attack was secular). Campa-Najjar has denounced the actions of his grandfather, who died several years before Campa-Najjar’s birth. 

“He’s used three different names to hide his ties to terrorism,” the narrator says, referring to Campa-Najjar reportedly changing his birth name from Ammar Yasser Najjar in June. The ad also features footage from a segment on the One America News Network, a conservative cable news channel based in San Diego, where Hunter’s district is located. In the segment, a pundit says Campa-Najjar is “supported by [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a well-orchestrated plan.” 

In response to Hunter’s comments in his speech Monday, Campa-Najjar campaign spokesman Nick Singer told the Los Angeles Times, “These are the desperate ravings of a congressman who believes he is above the law and has lost his grip on reality.” Campa-Najjar tweeted about the ad Friday—and accused Hunter of violating federal guidelines on political ads. The ad ends with a picture of Hunter, a former Marine, in a military uniform. The Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel noted on Twitter the clip didn’t include the necessary disclaimer for ads featuring candidates in military garb. 

Hunter, the embattled congressman who is accused of using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses, is running for a sixth term in California’s 50th District. Despite the allegations, which Hunter denies, he is still expected to hang on to the seat in the heavily Republican San Diego district. 

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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