Reid calls supporters of Nevada cattle rancher 'domestic terrorists'
April 17th, 2014
09:17 PM ET
9 years ago

Reid calls supporters of Nevada cattle rancher 'domestic terrorists'

(CNN) - Never one to mince words, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, lumped supporters of Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy in with the Eric Rudolphs, Richard Reids and Timothy McVeighs.

The senate majority leader labeled those who defended the rancher against a Bureau of Land Management cattle roundup "domestic terrorists" at a Thursday evening question-and-answer session hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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"Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said. "I repeat: What went on up there was domestic terrorism.”

Reid's remarks come on the heels of a tense, weeklong showdown that drew armed militia groups from across the country to the cattleman's side, especially after a YouTube video captured a tussle teetering on violence between rangers and protesters.

The BLM ultimately decided to shut down its weeklong roundup of Bundy's cattle Saturday after the incident.

Bundy owed nearly $1 million to the government and has avoided paying federal grazing fees for 20 years. His dispute with the government began around 1993 when the bureau changed grazing rules for the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area to protect an endangered desert tortoise, CNN affiliate KLAS reported.

For his part, Reid insisted that the conflict was not over. The Nevada lawmaker said he spoke with both federal and state law officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, and was given assurances a task force would be established to deal with the Bundy case.

“It is an issue that we cannot let go, just walk away from,” Reid said.

While the senator mainly took issue with the hundreds who flocked to Bundy's cause, Reid also jabbed at the rancher's reputation.

"He doesn’t pay his taxes," Reid said. "He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”

Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (921 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    To Dude,
    What does this have to do with the President? This guy has his own problems with the law. This is not the wild wild west, other ranchers pay grazing fees and so should he.

    April 18, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. troy

    Well goes in line with what democrats said that all military personnel is domestic terrorist and a threat to national security. So first of all Bundy has been grazing on that land even before BLM took over. BLM and Bundy has been disputing this for over 20 years. So this land is public land and can be used for anything by the public. One thing is that no one person is over there using it and so Bundy is and therefore most of you that claim he is stealing from the government are just plain wrong. The state of nevada owns the property and it was weaseled out of the state of nevada's hand by the US government. Bundy is willing to pay the State of Nevada for the fees but, will not pay the US Government because it was not the US Governments when Bundy had been grazing cattle way before the US Government claimed the land. Reid is a Domestic Terrorist

    April 18, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. ChrisM

    If you want to see what Reid in referning to, Google, Photos and interviews with the Bundy supporters up on the bridge pointing their guns at law enforcement, The local Sheriff.

    April 18, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Rob

    The US government is a domestic terrorist group.

    April 18, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Hogan's Goat

    You guys need to wake up and smell the Tea. Bundy's being used by some way-right crazies, and he's too weak to refuse. There they are with guns snarling "We're dangerous patriots, ready to kill, and we want to help you. Let's make sure all the women are in the line of fire so it will be like Ruby Ridge." If he told them to leave, they'd laugh at him.

    April 18, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. harrisonhits2

    Reid and the rest of congress, the white house, the supreme court, the nsa, fbi and cia are the biggest terrorists and thieves this country has ever seen.

    April 18, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Rogue351

    Yes they are terrorists. In addition to being terrorists they are ridiculously anti American, racist hate mongers. These whack jobs have been fuels on by TV and radio right wing hosts for the last 8 years. Remember a vote for the GOP or the Tea Party is a vote for these people. Guns, hate and violence.

    April 18, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Jim

    "And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.” ~Sen. Reid

    So is he talking about the rancher or the attorney general Eric Holder who cherry pics what laws to enforce?

    April 18, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. John

    What the big deal. We give billions to illegals what is wrong with this guy getting some free money (grass to graze). At least an American is getting the money.

    April 18, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. al Kuwahara

    some months ago a person i don't remember where, but his property had been previously zoned as agriculural or rural and paid very llittle taxes if not none. a problem developed when the town around it grew and that area was rezoned as residential or commercial and the owner had to pay taxes his property was pretty big but he was now delinquent in taxes. and when this story came out so many started spewing their hate comments that this guy was now a criminal for not paying his taxes. well i think the same can apply to this situation. the guy is delinquent on taxes.

    April 18, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Patrick

    Why does CNN not report that until the solar companies wanted to use the land that this was not an issue? Cattle grazing killed turtles is a major problem and offense while solar companies killing the same turtle not a problem. Until Reid was put in charge of BLM the rancher was never fined. Reid has a major stake in green energy.

    April 18, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. TedBidwell

    It never ceases to amaze me how our so-called "elected officials" think that it is their JOB to push every one around in this country like a bunch of BIG BULLIES!!!!!!! They should probably go back to school and study some AMERICAN HISTORY! What did our ancestors do in the early history of this country when the British government started coming over here and started pushing us around,started taxing us forcibly against our will,and in general just acted like a bunch of bullies! Did our ancestor's roll over and play dead or did they stand up and fight back????? People who live in this country,people who were BORN here are finally starting to wake up,and they are starting to fight back like our ancestor's did,THANK GOD!!!!! People are FED UP with these GREEDY,GODLESS,CORRUPT,SELF-SERVING politician's(excuse me,PUBLIC SERVANTS,because that's what they are!!!!!) And the minute that we don't bow down before them,like they expect us to,they want to start sigging the cops and the army on us like the NAZI'S would!!!!! W HY do you think that they're so big on GUN CONTROL?????, in defiance of the 2nd amendment!!!!! My family did not fight and sometime's DIE in Europe so that the leaders of this country could start acting like NAZI'S which is the last thing this country needs!!!!! Both parties,the Democrats AND Republican's,should be ASHAMED of themselves and how they've conducted themselves in this country for the last 50 years or longer. Their behavior is a total Slap in the face to the memorie's and faces of every one of our soldiers who died in Europe or the Pacific during World War 2,as well as to their families.It's way past time for some new political parties in this country!!!!! The Democrat's and the Republican's have outlived their usefulness to this once-great nation. We need new elected official's who will have the DECENCY and the HONESTY to admit that their JOB is not to spend all their time trying to line their pockets with OUR hard-earned money,or to set a BAD example for the rest of us to follow,instead of a GOOD one,nor to act like the bullying British or like NAZI'S!!!!!!! Any takers??????

    April 18, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    This really is not about a man being forced to pay 20 years of back grazing fees, its about whack jobs being able to thumb their noses at the rest of us who follow the rules as though we are deluded or too stupid to understand them. I hate to break it to them, but we understand them all too well. They are outside of our society, they have chosen to break away from us because they are unwilling to be responsible, and just simply want to take, take, take. They love government, just not when they are told to do something they don't like. They loved it when they had the same grazing fees for over a century, and somehow felt those fees were carved in stone. Any rancher or farmer worth their salt will tell you that the land needs to be sustained in order to make money over the long haul, but I guess some want to rewrite science the same way they want to write the laws to suit their own greed.

    April 18, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. vbscript2

    This is an issue that we absolutely can't let go. These people are domestic terrorists. They're interfering with a business deal planned by Reid's associates. We absolutely can't let that happen.

    April 18, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. rhobere

    I'm all for a right to protest, but you don't show up to the protest armed with the intent of waving guns at law enforcement which is exactly what these people did. That is, by the very definition of our laws, terrorism. Reid isn't saying anything radical here.

    April 18, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Jim

    So Reid can talk to Holder who gives assurance to Reid that a federal task force will take a look at this issue. Wonder if it is the same type of assurance Holder gives to other politicians who ask him questions about a botched gun program. I also think that BLM agents should just be called SA thugs. They also wore brown shirts and did dirty work for funny little politicians too.

    April 18, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Sonny

    No one is buying Harry's BS. Everyone knows those supporters are the true patriots who have had enough of Govt overreach. The Govt agents pointed guns in the supporter's faces. Harry is just mad that someone finally stood up to his corrupted power. Move to China Harry !!

    April 18, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Gary would'nt know a 'terrorist' if he was standing in front of you with a turban and bombs strapped to his chest. You would, however, offer him a 'path to citizenship', free Obamacare, and some food stamps for a nice meal.

    It's time that you are held accountable for your words...which unfortunately, will not happen!

    April 18, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Malory Archer


    Well goes in line with what democrats said that all military personnel is domestic terrorist and a threat to national security.


    What Democrat said that?

    April 18, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. tims1973

    It doesn't matter what you write in here. CNN will censor anything that shows the government is in the wrong. I've already had my comment sent and it has never appeared. Killed by the gubbamint censors at CNN. CNN loves to shill for the state but can't take it when someone makes a great case against that state.

    April 18, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Concerned American

    Mr. Reid,
    Sorry to hear those 'terrorists' are costing you and your son money. It can't be that the tortoise nonsense was actually about a land grab for your buddies Chinese solar company, could it? Couldn't be that You and Your Son are abusing authority to get BLM to act like the Chinese communists and take land unlawfully?

    Who is the terrorist Mr. Reid?

    April 18, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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