Reid calls supporters of Nevada cattle rancher 'domestic terrorists'
April 17th, 2014
09:17 PM ET
8 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. bob

    Thanks Harry! Your a wonderful guy..I can see why you were elected to office..

    April 18, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. hkirwin

    Reid said "he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.” Sounds a lot like the Obama Administration stance illegally aliens and ObamaCare.

    April 18, 2014 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. Brady

    Does anyone take this complete disgrace to the U.S. Senate seriously anymore? Harry Reid is an embarrassing joke…time to head out to pasture, Harry…and take Grandma Hillary with you...

    April 18, 2014 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  4. Juanito

    Reid is in the pocket of big and international businesses.

    Tally up his income over the entire term he served in congress and you will find he is now worth more than he's ever earned as congressman.

    Isn't graft a crime?

    I guess the saying is true. It takes a thief to catch a thief.

    April 18, 2014 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  5. R A Chapman

    Why is such a high level politician involved in such a minor Federal Law Enforcement issue? One would think he has much more serious issues to deal with ....... Maybe this guy and his son have some personal or even financial involvement and are having a Fed Agency do their work for them. I would think a proper investigation would be required here as this is HIGHLY UNUSUAL for such a high profile official to be So Concerned about such a minor issue!

    April 18, 2014 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  6. john deatherage

    Domestic Terrorists? No violence except for maybe being manhandled by the police. No shots, no bombs. Americans stood together to oppose what they believed to be wrong doing by the Federal Government. And for doing so, an American Senator has labeled them Domestic Terrorists. Senator Reid has proved why America needs a strong 2nd Amendment.

    April 18, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  7. Mark

    Way to fan the flames there Harry. Please, don't try to be diplomatic or anything, just keep handing them more reasons to be upset.

    April 18, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. Anonymous

    The face of badly needed term limits speaks.

    April 18, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  9. TSB8C

    Reid is the terrorist. His comment, "Well, it's not over. We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it's not over." What's he talking about? People that habitually violate the law currently run the country. But that's not over, either.

    April 18, 2014 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  10. stevep

    Really, can anything Reid says be taken seriously?

    April 18, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. Ima Wright

    Everybody, please keep cool. Tensions are running high on both sides. Don't throw gas on this. There has got to be a better way.

    April 18, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "He doesn’t pay his taxes," Reid said. "He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law.
    Whaaaat the...??!
    TWENTY-THREE years without paying his fees AND taxes (we don't know how long he went without paying those which brings me to my post)....
    How do these people get away with NOT paying the government for 23 years?
    If I'm even THINKING about being late with my city sewage bill, they start threatening me with shutting down my services.
    Has this man been in litigation with the government for 23 years thereby avoiding jailtime?
    And what about his unpaid taxes? How did he get away with that?
    Celebrities have been put in jail for failing to pay their taxes, how did Cliven Bundy, Unknown American, manage to stay out of one?
    I'm just asking here folks.

    April 18, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  13. Cory

    It always amazes me that people like these most extreme right wingers in Nevada claim to love our country, brandishing American flags at every chance but then in the very next glance they complain and refuse to follow the rules set forth by the country they claim to love.

    What they really mean is that they like all of the benefits that the law of government provides but they don't want to do their part to pay for those privileges.

    You don't get something for nothing folks. No one likes taxes but they are necessary. So start showing how much you "love" the country by doing your part and not standing in the way of everything the country you "love" does. Pay your fees and taxes. Get past your selfish greed and see that you are part of the problem not the solution.

    Dallas, TX.

    April 18, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  14. jsl123

    guess if I want to make a fortune in farming I can just start plowing under some public lands and plant. Don't see it as anything different from what he is doing.

    April 18, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  15. Mary

    OK, the Government owns 600.000 acres of land. Land tax payers paid for and now you are trying to make a cattle rancher pay for the use of land that he has already paid for and forcing him to act by taking his cattle by use of military style tactics. And you are calling the citizens terrorists? I am glad they showed up, the Government's actions were way out of bounds. What's it going to be next? You tax us to death and spend billions of it to benefit people in other countries (countries with citizens that want to wipe us off the planet), now that is unamerican. You throw a greedy bastard in jail for running a ponzi scheme, but you have the two largest in the world, social security and Obamacare..and you want to go after a guy who is letting his cattle graze on 600,000 acres of PUBLICALLY owned land. I say you forgive the rancher's debt and not SPEND ANYMORE of my hard earned money on a stupid task force. If the guy owes $1 million in taxes by fruadulence, then send him through the system just like everyone else, don't resort of military type tactics, that's terrorism. I am proud to be and American, but I can speak on behalf of the masses, WE ARE EMARRASSED BY OUR GOVERNMENT!!! you make us look like a bunch of hormonal high schoolers, and we are getting tired of it. This is not the change we asked for OBAMA!!! what a joke.

    April 18, 2014 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. RJ

    I wonder if he considers Al Sharpton a terrorist for not paying his taxes too. Bundy is in violation of the law from the facts as I've heard, but the amount of resources used was excessive considering it is a bill that is overdue. You can call him a criminal perhaps, but a terrorist, really?

    April 18, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  17. CountryConcerned

    Reid has been in government too long. Reid is a devout Communist.

    April 18, 2014 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  18. CountryConcerned

    Terrorist or Patriot, a fine line when it come to tyranny.

    April 18, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  19. inmyjudgement

    Sen Reid's grasp for power knows no limit and no bound. He is actively trying to start a fight where no fight is necessary. Sen Reid is corrupt and evil. Today leads to two paths one leads to peace and reconciliation and the other leads to violence. Let us all chose the path of peace.

    April 18, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  20. rdsphantom

    I have been conflicted about this fiasco read about it. This article has helped me make up my mind. The rancher had been using the land long before the Feds got involved and found a new way to tax an American citizen.. The Feds changed the rules after the man and others have been grazing their cattle for over 100 years. After reading this article and Senator Reid's comments, I have decided that I agree with Mr. Bundy. The Feds are wrong. If you don't stand up to the bully, the bully will just keep pushing you. These people are not "domestic terrorists" as Reid claims, They are indeed patriots. Mr. Reid has been in public office for too long and it his time for him to go away.

    April 18, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  21. Tim

    He's no differnet than you Senator Reid, when have you prosecuted any illegal aliens?

    “It is an issue that we cannot let go, just walk away from,” Reid said. "And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”

    So what makes this any different from Illegal aliens, they have broken the law.

    April 18, 2014 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  22. Curtis

    Vote Reid out of office come election day. The supporters of Bundy are red blooded Americans standing against Tyranny not terrorists of any kind.

    April 18, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. ram

    I agree with Reid. Follow law and pay your taxes. If you don't want to do that you can go live in another country where you can do as you like. Oh wait, many other countries would have already dragged him off to jail. I'm sure many will disagree, but that is okay. I don't agree with a lot the governments at all levels do, but if you break the law you are breaking the law. You don't have to like it, but it isn't fair for the rest of the populace who do pay taxes and follow laws when people like this man ignore it and get away with it.

    April 18, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  24. E

    From what I've read this rancher and his family have used the land for grazing since the 1800s or so, and all of a sudden a turtle is a big reason they want to boot him off... Really? From what I've read elsewhere, Reid has been bought by the Chinese to take the land to build a gigantic solar farm to make money for.. the Chinese. Where's that part of the story, CNN? And, why do Nevada residents keep voting for this guy year after year after year if he cares more about the Chinese than getting Americans access to affordable food (beef)? BTW, notice lately how anytime a citizen does something the fed govt doesn't like, they slap a label of Terrorist on him or her? Creepy!

    April 18, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  25. Harold Read

    To bad that Sen. Reid's land deal with a Chinese solar power company went sour.
    It is his right as a US Senator to broker deals for US property to foreign powers and for his own personal profit.

    April 18, 2014 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
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