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. Chuck Dent

    Really don't understand people trying to justify what this guy has done, or the people who came to his "defense" hoping to get the Feds to pull the trigger. That's what this is about.

    It's interesting to see people say, "Yeah, he was afoul of the law BUT those are bad so it's okay for him to fight with armed resistance." Huh? Seriously? So if there's any law I don't like and think it's bad, I can get a bunch of yahoos together and vow to fight to the death over it? Man, I should have saved my IRS money this year then.

    Here's the thing. If this government was as "tyrannical" and "authoritarian" as you folks like to claim, we wouldn't be talking about the BLM backing down; we'd be talking about how many of Bundy's supporters were dead. The Feds in that case wouldn't have played nice, and those of you talking about the Obama "dictatorship" would be hunted down for posting on message boards. That's not happening. Why? It's a democracy. Not a dictatorship.

    One last note: Bundy says his Constitutional rights are being trampled by a government he doesn't recognize as legitimate. But then, if the government isn't legitimate, that means the Constitution isn't either.

    April 18, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. rufus

    There is nothing wrong with Harry Reid that a nice, tall glass of prune juice wouldn't fix.

    April 18, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. Rand

    Bundy thinks he can use federal land how he see fit, to further his finances while others have to play by the rules. I think not. Make him pay or shut him down.

    April 18, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. Government Waste Rules

    Democrats love to throw the word "terrorism" around. Except when it comes to jihadists.

    April 18, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. tiz

    Harry Reid is a joke. The government took the Bundy land and now want to charge him for using it. just a joke.

    April 18, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. conoclast

    The psychotic-right "militias" are obviously just itching for a fight - ANY fight, so long as it's with their own government. We should simply indulge their pathetic delusion by packing them up and sending them to Yemen!

    Let's see how they're welcomed by their "compatriots"!

    April 18, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Bob Thompson

    The federal government and the corporate mass media are domestic terrorists with their fear mongering. We've been terrorized more by our own government and media than the terrorists themselves. Harry Reid and Eric Cartman have the same motto: "respect my authoritay!"

    April 18, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Peter Clarke

    I would be very careful with these terrorists. They ride on our freedoms and contribute very little to our society. Vermin every one...

    April 18, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. skipper

    The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office met Wednesday afternoon with two residents of the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas, and those occupants said eight adults live there, a DPS spokesman said Thursday.
    Authorities provided the residents with copies of court orders directing the state to take possession of the forfeited ranch, state officials said.

    boy oh boy

    Law breaking Mormon Ranchers allied with Extreme Right wing and Conservative militia wack jobs VS TEXAS and Rick Perry ?

    going to be funny !

    April 18, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. John

    What about your land deal with the Chinese that you and your son stand to make millions from Harry? Isn't that the real reason for all of this? You and your son need to crawl back in your rat hole.

    April 18, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Bob Thompson

    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

    April 18, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. R@R

    domestic terrorist? seriously? Has he gone out and attacked people? Has he shown other people how to go out and foment discord and kill people? Are his goals as a rancher to incite terror in the populace? If all it takes to be labeled a terrorist by Reid is to skip out on taxes and fee's owed, then our great nation is full of terrorists. Reid needs to watch his use of words. This person is certainly a criminal. Reid needs to realize calling someone like this a terrorist reduces the real meaning of the word.

    April 18, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Dave

    Both the rancher and the rat Harry Reid and the Feds are all wrong. The rancher should pay what he owes and HArry Reid needs to be arrested for treason, impersonating a human being. Harry Reid Aka "the rat" is a vile threat to the United States and we the people need to get him for his and his sons back deals with the CHinese and selling American lands to the Communists and displacing US citizens by stealing their land. This so called lame A.. Senator needs to be toppled like the tyrant he is!!

    April 18, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. jerry

    When our government starts calling US citizens domestic terrorists we are all on our way to losing freedoms paid for with blood from our forefathers.

    April 18, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Erik

    Wow thanks Reid why don't you chill out a little.

    April 18, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. papawnick

    People like Harry Reid who think they are one step below god also causes confrontations. One of my prayers is that Reid leave office. He has bought his position with tax money and favors. It is easy to see hat Bundy is not a favorite of Reid. Remember Harry's favorite words, " IT IS DEAD ON ARRIVAL."

    April 18, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Ryan


    "Everything Hitler did was also "legal" under German law. Hitler's Gestapo was "just enforcing the law".

    Just because some power hungry thugs wrote it on a piece of paper doesn't make it right"

    1) Are you calling the founding fathers thugs?

    2) Following your logic, do you side with immigrants breaking the law and entering the country illegally?

    You can't pick and choose which laws you want to follow.

    April 18, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. wat

    Reid just wants his fracking and turbine land for his chinese partners- if anyone here is supporting despotism it's Reid.

    April 18, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. bodoflam

    Harry Reid (as is Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, etc) is a criminal and should be indicted for treason for selling off American resources to the Chinese. He is resorting to the typical political strategy of labeling, whether it be terrorist or racist or whatever politically correct rhetoric is trending with them. While I don't completely agree with Bundy's position, I COMPLETELY disagree with the jack boot thuggery Harry propped the BLM to do. Harry is using government power against the american people and that can only be construed as tyranny and he needs to criminally prosecuted for it.

    April 18, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Nicole

    Fortunately, most of the country stopped taking Harry Reid seriously man, many years ago.

    April 18, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Eric

    I absolutely agree that the rancher and the gunmen are in no way patriots. A patriot supports his or her country and follows the rule of law. They are in fact anarchists, and I am very pleased that this matter is not over. They may have won the battle (and I'm thankful there was no bloodshed), but they cannot be allowed to win the war.

    April 18, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. G-man

    I take it as a compliment, because our founding fathers were considered terrorists by the british crown.

    April 18, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Winston5

    (wow, the lunatic fringe will be TROLLING this one like crayzee) hey fella, how's my "liberty" infringed now that I HAVE HEALTHCARE ??

    April 18, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. HUH?

    I am glad Reid thinks I am a terrorist. Any politician as crooked and dirty as Reid who is calling me a terrorist should throw up some red flags. The federal government is out of control in the west. You are no longer allowed to drive on Forest Service roads in the west essentially locking the public off of PUBLIC lands. Cattle grazing permits are being pulled all over the west to supposedly save this or that insect or tortoise. It is all about power and taking the rights away from the people. Next time you go to the store to buy a steak, vegetables, or fruit and complain about the price look no further than king 0bama, and prince Reid.

    April 18, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Grant

    First off to all you people saying bundy supporters are terrorists are absolutely nuts! If you think bundy is pilfering off the land etc you dont know the whole story and I STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU EDUCATE YOURSELF ON IT and not by liberal biased new stations! I guys are missing out on a lot of the story! The media is covering this really really bad! so read around a bit if you are open minded. I Strongly support Bundy, and im sorry but I am no Terrorist! I love my country with all my heart! Reid has a dirty scheme going on and he is the true terrorist! I can promise one thing NO RANCHERS I KNOW ARE TERRORISTS! WE all work very hard on the land and strive to be good stewards of the land! The BLM neglects the land and is really screwing things up big time. You dont have to believe me but, at least educate yourself fully before you make judgement! The west is far different than back east and until you really have lived in these areas you dont fully understand it. Good day to all of you!

    April 18, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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