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Fresh off a great big campaign finance fraud indictment, grifty cheaterman Duncan Hunter took to Fox News to clear his name, or at least blame everyone -- especially the Democrats who run the Justice Department and also his wife Margaret, who is also probably a secret Democrat from the Deep State -- for all his problems.


All of his campaign expenditures, Hunter insisted to Fox's Martha McCallum, were completely legitimate, except for the huge amounts of spending that weren't, which he has already repaid so it's not a crime, just like robbery is no crime if you give the money back. But most of the money was definitely for legitimate business, you bet! (McCallum herself points out he paid back only $60,000 of an alleged $250,000 in crimey campaign thefts, so good on McCallum, for real.) Here, watch the man with the mouthful of marbles say words!

That's how we campaign and try to raise money is by traveling, having dinners, meeting people and raising more money. That's how people get to hear me and hear what I have to say, and they donate money.

And if some of that money mistakenly ended up paying for groceries at Costco or $1,300 in video games or flying his pet rabbit, George, around the country, well he paid all that back (he didn't) and he's sorry (not sorry).

Your Wonkette would like to take this opportunity to point out that, while we were discomfited by Hunter's ungentlemanliness the first time he embussened his wife, it seems old Marge, per the indictment, may have actually been driving that Grift Train. Sure, Hunter (allegedly) spent lots of campaign cash on booze, golf, and romantic weekends with Not Margaret Hunter, but most of the day-to-day really was Margaret Hunter having a spending problem so vast it may butt up against the DSM-5.

But some of it, he insisted, was totally not his fault, like the time he wanted some Hawaiian shorts but was short of cash and his wife texted to suggest he just charge it as "some [golf] balls for the wounded warriors." Maybe that never even happened, says Hunter: "I don't remember that but I would never do that [...] Just because somebody texted me that, doesn't mean I had anything to do with anything that happened after that." Huh. Somebody. Who could he mean?

And then there was this moment, where a muffled thump was just barely audible in the studio as Margaret went under the wheels:

When I went away to Iraq in 2003, the first time, I gave her power of attorney. She handled my finances throughout my entire military career and that continued on when I got into Congress, because I'm gone five days a week and home for two. She was also the campaign manager so whatever she did, that'll be looked at too, I'm sure, but I didn't do it. I didn't spend any money illegally, and I did not use campaign money -- especially for wounded warrior stuff, there's no way.

Hunter did admit he "probably" said "Fuck the Navy," because after all, he was a Marine, and boy does he love the services, all the services, we have the best, you bet. But "it's all in good fun," OK, San Diego? McCallum asked him to confirm the comment had come during Hunter's $15,000 trip to Italy -- paid for with campaign funds -- which his wife had described as "the best family vacation ever," which sure doesn't sound like a campaign trip. Hunter blitzed right past that one, saying,

I paid for the trip to Hawaii, except for when I was there, on my own vacation, I wanted to call up the Navy and say "let me tour the base there." I do that all the time. Whenever we travel and we go by a military installation or there's people there who I know or I want to raise money or go speak to, and we do that all the time. And by the way, Martha, I've been a prolific fundraiser. I've raised millions and millions of dollars for the Republican party and for myself and other candidates --

And in that torrent of words, McCallum never had the chance to ask about Hunter's odd little switch from her question about the family vacation to Italy to his answer about some trip to Hawaii. It was enough to evoke a quizzical look from McCallum when he said it, but then he was on to blaming the evil Deep State evildoers in the DOJ who were deliberately trying to smear him.

Decidedly quizzical!

We don't know, maybe it's nothing. It's probably nothing. But Hunter certainly makes an impressive display of word-hosing there, in any case. Nonetheless, McCallum pressed Hunter, pointing out that his congressional salary is, after all, $174,000 a year, which a lot of us just might be able to eke by on, and asked him if he thinks he needs to be paid more so he could somehow stay out of spending trouble. "Is it not enough to live on?" Hunter said it's actually hard to get by on that pittance in places like San Francisco or San Diego, but easier in Kansas or Missouri, "So, it's all relative." Seems like a follow-up would have been useful there.

As for Hunter's Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, who's suddenly a much stronger contender for Hunter's seat, McCallum asked Hunter to respond to tape of Campa-Najjar saying, in an earlier Fox News program, that Hunter was clearly a broken, broken man who had served honorably in the Marines, BUT:

I think that man who served our country never made it back from the battlefield. And I think Washington chewed him up and spat him out, and he lost his way.

And so I think people are looking for someone who will lead with their values, somebody who not only will pass laws, but follow the law.

Well, heck, Hunter replied, "I would say that's my socialist Democrat opponent, and that's what socialist Democrat opponents say." Pretty good spin! Yes, Campa-Najjar is indeed a member of the DSA. But it's not every day you see a Republican claiming the oldest trope in the campaign book -- Incumbent X has been corrupted by Washington and power -- is secretly a wily socialist talking point. We'll have to remember that for the next time some Republican who's never run for office uses it.

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[Fox News]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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