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. madmike66

    Reid is an idiot who clearly doesn't understand the word terrorism. No act of violence intended to invoke or inspire fear occurred. Not one. Reid bullies from his office, and I can't wait to see him gone.

    April 18, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Name

    When is Reid up do reflection?

    April 18, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Rick

    Term limits is what this nation needs desperately. Met him once in DC and was not at all impressed. Just a name caller and a career politician who has used his office to bully people. Oh and get rich!!!!! People have to wake up and vote these people out of office.

    April 18, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. PCG

    It's hard to believe reid called them terrorists. Right or wrong what have these people done that qualifies as terrorism? Tax evasion does not equal terrorism. If anything Reid is a terrorist for his viscious rhetoric that he constantly uses his bully pulpit to level at individual americans. This isn't the first time he's made statements like this. He needs to be removed from office in the very least.

    April 18, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. John

    Reid's sun is the CEO of the Chinese energy company that is building a 5 billion dollar solar farm there. Bundy's land is a "enviromental mitigation zone" meant to be a reserve to offset the destruction of the desert there. Who is the real terorist Reid?

    April 18, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. dave

    The Bureau of Land Management showing up in such force with drawn assault riffles to intimidate a person vs simply filing a lean on ALL of his property, including autos is "domestic terrorism".

    April 18, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. John

    Reid and his family has a financial interest in that area what a fraud.

    April 18, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Ron

    I apologize. Please delete my comment from above. Stooping to their level makes me no better than those filled with evil and hatred.

    April 18, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. The Doctor

    So you talk about poor people living off the government with food stamps and assistance who do pay taxes in one form or another. Whenever you purchase anything in most states you have some form of a sales tax. But these guys who are using Federal land for free and not paying anything, who are the free loaders here, might as well add the farm subsidies (also known as financial assistance) to it also...You the great Soviet Union used to subsidize their farmers too.

    April 18, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. CJD

    So why did the gov't show up and start taking the cows? That's an aggressive act. If we are following protocol, they should have arrested or subpeona'd the guy for tax evasion, etc. etc. There's no leadership here . There's no public service. These "domestic terrorists" are arming themselves because those who are sent to serve are there for personal gain only. Right or's not about bettering America, it's about bettering themselves. We can and should argue the issues all day long. But the goal should be to do the right thing. This is a microcosm of a larger issue that has been brewing....Hence Harry talking like high schooler.

    April 18, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. dave

    Harry Reid ONLY cares because he and his family are now trying to make personal money off that government land. Harry, quit LYING and fess up to your PERSONAL GAINS agenda!

    April 18, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. dave

    2016 is going to be such a GREAT election year for the Conservatives. The democrat's Party of Blame will just be whining more, but it will be so much fun to watch and see.

    April 18, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Steve

    No, they aren't terrorists. They aren't suicide bombing, or kiddnapping a 100 girls. They are standing up for someone who's rights are getting trampled. Plain and simple.

    April 18, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Blake

    Is Bundy a tax evading criminal? According to the law, yes! Is Al sharpton, a tax evading criminal? According to the law, yes! What is the difference between these two? Al Aharpton, has his own TV show, has fundraisers with the president, and does not have an army of 200 officers surrounding his property. Now, what is the difference between these two, other then the fact that Al Sharpton ows nearly twice what Bundy owes? Lets not even get into some of the presidents staff that owe back taxes, or Warren Buffett that owes over 1 billion in taxes dating back to 2002. Why are they not getting the same treatment?

    April 18, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. Malory Archer


    Timing is everything. Maybe Bundy is wrong. Maybe not. Who really knows, guess that will get sorted out in court.


    He's been to court several times, and every single time the court has determined HE is wrong.

    April 18, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Malory Archer


    Don't really know a lot about this dispute, but why is Harry Reid getting so involved?


    Because it's happening in his state and the other ranchers who are his constituents and ARE paying their grazing fees want him to do so.

    April 18, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Merlin

    I can see two sides to this story, and to me it appears both are wrong. The rancher for not acknowledging free-roaming cattle grazing days are over and the government who once again mishandled the situation. At least it hasn't turned into a Branch Davidian Waco incident....yet. Senator Reid should be careful how he labels others. He would more likely appear as a domestic terrorist wielding government power over its citizens. Watch you image, Harry...

    April 18, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. PDubz

    And what the liberal media isn't telling you is that he TRIED to pay the state, who were supposed to be collecting the taxes before the BLM swooped in.

    April 18, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. John Illinois

    Bill – The government is not following/enforcing the laws! Look at Obama and Holder....they refuse to enforce laws and cater to illegal alien criminals! Why don't you have a problem with that?!?!? Then you have the POS Reid calling LEGAL American citizens domestic terrorists. Then illegal alien criminal invaders are foreign terrorists! Looks like the government and liberals are the hypocrites!

    April 18, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. nostrildamus

    Terrorism is not confronting government agents head on.
    I don't agree at all with the protesters at all and I'm sure there were additional outright illegal actions on their part over and above the absurd claims made by the rancher.
    Reid calling these idiots terrorists is dangerously close to him saying those who disagree with government are enemies of the state and is an attempt by him to terrorize those who disagree. It also will just galvanize them.

    April 18, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. ChrisM

    For the FACTS of the Bundy case, look up case No. 2:98-cv-531-LRH.
    Bundy has already lost twice in the courts.
    And the Courts have issued Orders against Bundy .

    “the public lands in Nevada are the property of the United States because the United States has held title to those public lands since 1848, when Mexico ceded the land to the United States.”

    The fact of the matter is it is public land of the United States, currently managed by the BLM and the Park Services. The Property Clause of the CONSTITUTION is the governing authority over the public lands, and Bundy's “state sovereignty” issue was settled by the Supreme Court in 1976 in a decision titled “Kleppe v. New Mexico”.

    April 18, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Dizzyguy

    If you are unsatisfied with a Senator's behavior, all it takes is a vote in the mid-terms to get him out.

    Mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

    1/3 of the US Senate seats are up for contention.

    April 18, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. TheSilence

    Why do we have such childish politicians? Seriously, anyone from Nevada knows that Mr. Reid is simply a dishonest profiteer.

    April 18, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Brian

    Its about dam time us real Americans stood up to this out of control Federal Government which are the true Domestic Terrorist. I wore a badge for twenty years and there are many of us that meant to do good and help out fellow country men, however these crooked administrations truly control your actions. In Nazi Germany they acted like the Federal Government of today. This scumbag Harry Reid is a true terrorist stealing money and padding bank accounts. He makes no mention of his sons involvement in selling the land to the Chinese for a solar station. The land is valued at 34 million and Hearty Reads son is selling it to the communist for 3.4 million. Who is the terrorist and violator of his oath. I hope real Americans continue to stand up armed if necessary to protect their rights. I'm very proud to be an Idahoan that understands our rights and will not tolerate abuses by government. All of the Nevadans need to vote Harry Reid out and send that there to jail along with the rest of these senators that violate the constitution.

    April 18, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Malory Archer


    Don't really know a lot about this dispute, but why is Harry Reid getting so involved?


    Because it's happening in his state and his constituents who also happen to be ranchers that DO pay their fees believe the freeloading welfare queen rancher should be held to the same standards.

    April 18, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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