Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) recently generated national headlines with a bizarre tale: the far-right congressman said he had secret information about ISIS militants entering the United States through the Southern border. The more the claims were subjected to scrutiny, the more Hunter's claims looked dubious.
Alas, he hasn't given up.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) says the Obama administration must beef up security on the southern border of the U.S. because of the threat posed by terrorists and the growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa. "You simply have to secure the border and make sure that people we don't want coming in the country whether they have Ebola or they're terrorists, name your terrorist organization, they're coming in through the southern border. This isn't that complicated," he said on Sean Hannity's radio show Wednesday.
Well, complicated or not, when the congressman says, in reference to terrorists, "they're coming in through the southern border," this is still highly suspect.
Indeed, though Hunter and his aides insisted that his original claims were accurate, the California Republican is no longer sticking to his initial argument. He told Sean Hannity, "Mark that as one score against me, I should've said al Qaeda terrorists."
But that's wrong, too -- there's literally no reason to believe "al Qaeda terrorists" have snuck into the United States through the nation's southern border. Such fearmongering, by all appearances, is entirely baseless. "Mark that as one score against me"? I think Hunter means two against him -- he's not even correcting himself accurately.
The timeline of events is simply amazing.
Oct. 7: Hunter tells a national television audience he has secret information about ISIS infiltrating the United States.
Oct. 8: Hunter's aides says the congressman is correct and that the public shouldn't necessarily believe the denials from federal law enforcement.
Oct. 9: Hunter's office not only stands by the bogus claims, it also expands them to say the Department of Homeland Security is "actively discouraging" officials from talking about developments at the border.
Oct. 10: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), one of the lawmakers Hunter cited as a reliable source, tells CNN he hasn't seen any evidence to bolster Hunter's claims.
Oct. 15: Hunter changes the story, adds Ebola to the mix, references al Qaeda for no apparent reason, and says all over again that terrorists are coming in through the southern border.
This really isn't going well. The congressman has made dubious claims, has no proof, he has sources he can't identify, he has no allies backing him up, and he has no information that can be independently verified.
Maybe Hunter should just say he's sorry, explain that his rhetoric got away from him, and walk all of this back?