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. Lily

    By going through some posts here, I have come to realised how some are very upset of Sen. Reid to say "domestic terrorists". Now these people can learn how bad it has been to call any citizen a terrorist. As far as I can remember, that woman from Alaska used this term sometime in the past.

    April 18, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. American Pride

    All I know is Harry Reid is a plan outright dork. I am not saying I agree with the rancher or the people that went there with weapons. But I see this becoming common place, because our government is turning into a dictatorship. The American people are getting frustrated with it and I foresee in the future, if the government does not change its ways, there is going to be an uproar that will lead to clash between citizens and the government. I think our government has forgotten they work for us, they do not own us. I sincerely hope it never comes to something like this but unfortunately I feel it will.

    April 18, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Gunny

    So apparently if you stand in the way of the billion dollar energy facility deal Reid is trying to broker for our future Chinese overlords it makes you a terrorist.

    April 18, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. dutspup

    Reid is a GD terrorist, hope he chokes on an easter egg over the weekend as well. AND I hope what he said was not an idol threat because the folks who came to Clivens aid dont play around and are fed up with this administration.

    April 18, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Molly

    This rancher does not own the land, no matter how long his family has been ranching on it... free, it seems, for many years. We taxpayers own this land and pay for it with our taxes – how can he and his pals think they have a right to not only snub their noses at environmental regulations but also at the small fee these ranchers who let their cattle graze on public land are assessed? He is earning a living by using other people's property. Nothing is free in life!!!

    April 18, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Charlie

    This Reid guy is getting more weird every month. i hope he gets voted out of office.

    April 18, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. angus

    I never knew there were so many out there who are brainwashed into thinking that whatever the fed does is always legal....

    April 18, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. God save america

    Bundy already said hey tried to pay his taxes and grazing fees and they wouldn't let him how does that equal freeloading or stealing from citizens. Plus its public land for public use not the other way around.

    April 18, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Phil

    I can't believe how many people are defending Reid and his ilk. They need this Bundy property to serve as a "set aside" for a wind farm. They will not be building directly on his property, but regulations say they need a "buffer zone". Cliven Bundy is the only man stopping them from selling a huge portion of the state to Chinese interests. Reid and his son(s) stand to make vast amounts of money on this deal.

    April 18, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Terrorist are people that blow up buildings and kill or target large numbers of civillians. The ranchers have done none of that.

    The only terrorist here is Harry Reid.

    April 18, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. virocat

    I live in the west (Wyoming) and pay taxes. I fully realize that Wyoming uses more finances from the federal government than we pay for. Who else could pay for the infrastructure in the state? We have 3 interstates and a number of other federally funded highways that cross-cross the state. They are used to transport the fruits of our rancher's labor to market and allow tourists to gain access to our national parks, monuments and ski resorts. I am sure this rancher in Nevada used infrastructure to get his cattle to market in addition to grazing his cattle. This gentleman needs to pay his taxes and back taxes. Cowboy Up!!!!

    April 18, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. CountryConcerned

    The Feds have been buying millions of acres every year to limit commodities to the consumer. What they don't buy, they pay massive amounts of money to idle the land and drive up costs to taxpayers and the consumers. It's a great way to put people on welfare and government dependent. People need to come to grips that the DFL has been pushing for a Soviet style of government for years. With farmers tearing down groves and windbreaks, pattern tiling every once of surface water the next dust bowl isn't that far off. When it comes, the DFL will seize the forfeited land and will have accomplished its mission.

    April 18, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. durkinjt

    Just a couple of questions. I, along with probably most of the bloggers here are probably not aware of the entire story. Every news article I have read or viewed on TV has a different bent. Just wondering, how does a man get away without paying these taxes for 15-20 years , was all that grazing property off limits because of turtles?

    April 18, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. BobbyGB

    Al Sharpton still owes $1.9 million in taxes and the president has a fundraiser with him. I'm not a partisan, but there is clearly a double standard.

    April 18, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Karina

    How can Americans elect a foolish and sometimes quite stupid man like Harry Reed to the senate and entrust him with the task to uphold the constitution and it's laws.
    His disgusting statement is an insult to the many people that were maimed and killed by terrorists and the families that suffered tragic losses.

    April 18, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Justin

    Thank God someone is finally standing up to a corrupt and lying government. Harry Reid and the federal government are the terrorists and should be prosecuted as such. Trying to steal land from the American people is a crime.

    April 18, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. WEEDY

    Once you engage the government, they have literally forever to get you. I am sure this rancher, and hopefully all his cronies, will eventually regret taking these actions. When his bank accounts and liquid assets are frozen, when whatever real property he thinks he owns has a lien attached,, it will be too late to try to be reasonable. I am amused how many outsiders want to cheer this man on and directly into the jaws of total ruination. Its a shame really... it could have been much different.

    April 18, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Republiker

    Dingy Harry is more proof when you waste your vote on the Democrat Freeloader Party, we ALL lose.

    April 18, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. durkinjt

    I am not sure I am aware of the story in its entirety, as most bloggers usually are not. Every news story or TV program has a different slant, as usual. Just wondering, how does someone get away without paying taxes for 15-20 years?, Also, is all that grazing land forbidden to be used because of turtles?

    April 18, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Obey or face consequences

    This cowboy man behaves as if he is living in Somalia, where there is no government and no laws are enforced. He must obey or face consequences. Thats the only way functioning governments work.

    April 18, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. lb309

    Terrorist comment is WAY off base, but is consistent with Dems fright mongering and deflection. Remember a few years ago, when we were told the 'real' threat was our brave servicemen coming home, not foreign terrorists.

    Whether you agree with what they are doing or not, the fact that so many people are willing to come out in support of this guy at this time, should be a wake-up call to Reid, Pelosi, etc. that people are getting more and more fed-up with their mis-handling of the country.

    April 18, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. Mike

    I think that our elected officials are domestic terrorists , as they don't care about the country or the citizens unless it's in their best interests. They sell out to the highest bidder, like the rich and corporations, and ignore the bill of rights, the declaration of independence and the constitution. The spying on it's own citizens, the illegal wars in Iraq started by bogus intelligence. I say lets kick them all out of office and start over.

    April 18, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. geggam

    Bundy owns the grazing and water rights to that land. Not to mention he now has prescriptive rights as well. BLM knew this and attempted to intimidate him by killing his cows and threatening violence.

    April 18, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. Sidewinder

    @God save america: when did Bundy every try to pay his grazing fees? Everything I have heard come out of his mouth is that he is never going to pay the BLM for his grazing fees. He stopped paying in 1993 and has been to court numerous times, and each time this freeloader has been told to pay up.

    April 18, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. Johnny 5

    Reid has committed treason against the american people and deserves every bit of defiance he gets. It's time to start sending these criminal politicians to the slammer and that includes BHO.

    April 18, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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