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. Anton

    We need more people and a whole lot less government.

    April 18, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Talon

    Reid himself is a terrorist, bullying everyone from his pulpit. I wish this solar plan with the Chinese would blow up in his face.

    April 18, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. thedude

    Do we all realize that once labeled a "Terrorist" by the Govt, the Patriot Act allows that same Govt to place you in jail with NO constitutional rights (no lawyer, no right to jury of peers, etc.) they through away the keys and there is nothing you or your family can do about it

    April 18, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Hogan's Goat

    Whatever point this guy might have had in the beginning has been filed down long ago by these nut jobs who "came to help him" by setting up another Ruby Ridge mess. It's like the Ron Paul Fan Club is having a meeting or something. And yes, these are pretty much the same people who blew up the Murrah building, and Reid's not wrong about that. Bundy needs to kick them out and settle his own problems. They have a hand up his backside and are wiggling him like a puppet right now.

    April 18, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. aerosgrl

    Malory Archer

    No, because the fact of the matter is he paid those fees UNTIL 20 years ago. Why would they "find" him when he was doing the right thing? Perhaps you should try following your own advice and "do some real research!"


    So lets begin to look at why he stopped? What does your research tell you?

    And my comment was made for all the people saying throw in him prison etc... Need to think about why it has only been fines, and not more action taken.

    April 18, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. MarieEricksson


    I love it when you liberals go after a US citizen and want him gone, but embrace illegal aliens when they break the law. As usual hypocrites!!!!-

    We liberals love it when you conservatives think illegal aliens should be arrested for “breaking the law” but think you yourselves can make up laws as you go along or break whatever you want to. Talk about hypocrisy!!!

    April 18, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. American Citizen

    Is it November yet? Look forward to Comrade Reid becoming the Senate Minority Leader.

    April 18, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. Bill

    This is outrageous. So now the right-wing extremists think a lowlife tax evader is a patriot? BS. Is this what the pro-gun crowd is arming themselves for – to fight law enforcement officials trying to uphold the law against criminals? I don't know if I'd go as far as Reid did in calling the militia domestic terrorists, but Cliven Bundy is a tax-evading criminal. If I don't pay my taxes, the government has every right to seize my property. It's called punishment fitting the crime. Has the right-wing become so anti-government now that they don't even support the following of laws?

    April 18, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. Skeptic

    Reid is right.

    April 18, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. The Doctor

    I am shocked at how little information those commenting seem to have. The rancher is fighting to not pay a fee for grazing his cattle on FEDERAL LANDS, PUBLIC PROPERTY. IF he had done this shit to his neighbor they would likely have shot his cattle and sued him. Other ranchers pay the fee to maintain the land they use, he is freeloading on their hard earned dollars.

    April 18, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Uncle Sam

    Harry Reid is a good honest hard working politician! His wisdom good looks and charm knows no bounds. He is the hardest working politician who seeks the best interest of the good people of Nevada...said no American ever.

    April 18, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. bcw

    Freedom loving does not mean you do not respect the laws of this country. Bundy has already enjoyed 20 years of freeloading from the federal givernement. Imgaine if Bundy is not white, will the GOP and FOX still defense him? I guess they will call him FREELOADER in no time and blame the Obama administration for allowing him to do so. See, wild wild west still there and with guns and riffles; and the men are using women and children as their sheilds. SAD!

    April 18, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Vince

    So grazing on land that isn't yours = patriot, but wanting to make more than $8 per hour for hard work you do = moocher? This man needs to shut his mouth and pay his bill like everyone else. Talk about a "taker"!!!

    April 18, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Dizzyguy

    I admit that Cliven Bundy has to be a responsible citizen and pay his taxes, but in the grand scheme of things, Harry Reid has a lot more influence over our lives than Cliven Bundy does.

    And by calling American's who defend their property from Federal land-grabbing as "domestic terrorists" – Harry Reid has over-stepped his bounds, and does not deserve the honor of serving as Majority Leader in the United States Senate.

    He is creating a Federal Task force to go after the people who support Cliven Bundy. I mean, really, a Federal Task force?

    All the while, there are questions as to whether or not the land Cliven Bundy uses to raise cattle is terrority that his son wanted to own in order to sell to a Chinese Solar Company.

    This guy is staring to make Putin look reasonable.

    April 18, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. scottclark52

    "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.”

    Harry many have something in common with King George III.

    April 18, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Bruce Quinn

    The BLM is supposed to be custodians of the land, and make the land available to the people of the US. It's not just a matter of taking land out of use for Bundy, they have been doing the same all over the country. People who have been using it for years, are suddenly taxed and stuck by inocuous rules about turtles or preservation of the land. I gold mine and have seen all over CA, people not getting kicked off their claims, but roads being closed so you have no access. The last time this happened was when FDR took gold away from us. I've seen producing claims taken away from small family miners for environmental reasons, only to be given to big strip mining companies, who contrary to their lease do not put the land back the way they fould it and are not penalized. It's a Control issue, it's an issue of who is the land really for, and it's a money issue. Actually, if they come back, I think I'll go buy a gun in NV and join the protestors. I certainly wouldn't want to carry one of my own across a border to be held for some kind of interstate infraction if arested.

    April 18, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Ron

    You conservatives really are clueless. You are domestic terrorists and should be dealt with accordingly. Please do the world a favor and commit mass suicide so our society can be a better place.

    April 18, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Kenneth

    By that description harry, then half of congress is a domestic terrorist along with your good friend the attorney general. Because all of you ignore the the law, some don't pay taxes, and most thumb their noses at the law.

    Perhaps you should mention why you're so heavily involved in a simple land matter. Got a land deal going on?

    April 18, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Jennifer

    I am amazed. I have read numerous posts that classify this man according to a political affiliation. Apparently, he is a Tea Partier and therefore should be shot, needs to keep his mouth shut and obey the law of Harry Reid, and, OH! my personal favorite, it's ok to call him a Domestic Terrorist because Sarah Palin used the term. Really, people? Wake up!!! How is the discrimination and vitrol spewed at others for their political belief any different than for their religious belief? I have heard many Republicans insult the intelligence of Democrats, BUT I have heard more hatred and violence coming from Democrats and so-called Liberals toward anyone they consider *gasp* Conservative. Shame on you. Look at the whole picture... from both sides, then form an opinion.

    April 18, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. scottclark52

    Are we sure Harry Reid's name isn't King George III? Because his comments sound a little familiar.

    April 18, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. NewBritainBig"D"

    Bring out the riot troops, armed to the teeth and protect us from those "Domestic Terrorists". Oh, wait, that would be us, the citizens who are opposed to the Federal Government taking over what belongs to individual States. Cliven Bundy may be in the wrong but don't you think the government overreacted? Pointing guns at those who were unarmed supporters of Mr. Bundy, since when is it illegal to show support for anything. We are experiencing the beginning of the end of "Freedom" in America and it's has been in the planning and slow execution since the Patriot Act was put in place. The only difference is that the current administration has put the plan into high gear and will not stop until a real mass murder of innocent citizens by the government occurs. Don't you see it?????????????????

    April 18, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. dave

    Come on Harry, be transparent and fess up to your (family's) personal financial interest in this "government"/We The People's land!

    April 18, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Blake

    From my understanding ofthe situation (though it is limited) Bundy's issue is that the land is owned and run by the federal gov. when it is land in the state of Nevada. He believes that the land should belong to the state and that he is willing to pay the taxes to the state. Now, people can and will disagree with his belief, and the courts have ruled against him. But from what I have seen and read, it seems like the majority of people who went out there to support him did so not because they necessarily agree with his stance, but because they were abwhored at what the BLM was doing. Regardless of what he owes, can it be justified that over 200 armed officers surrounded his land, snipers were positioned around his property with guns pointed at his family, his son was tasered several times in a row for filmins the officers, that a "1st Ammendment zone" was created and free speech was illegal outsid e of it? That is what the armed people in protest were there for. The blatent violations of our Constitution and the gross abuse of power by the BLM.

    April 18, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. jdalco

    Sounds like Reid is way out of touch. He needs to step down.

    April 18, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Robin Jones

    Dial it back Harry. Your big flapping mouth isn't helping matters.

    April 18, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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