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. citizenUSA

    Yeah, protect those turtles. Love me some turtle soup!

    April 18, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Dean

    I agree that Bundy should pay his taxes...immediately after Al Sharpton pays his taxes...

    April 18, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Susan

    Reid is right. If you don't pay your bills, then things happen. I'm not saying that the BLM didn't make mistakes. They clearly did. But none of this would have happened if this terrorist and his gun-totin' terrorist buddies hadn't started this mess.

    April 18, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. seszoo

    Since Harry's friends were the ones in the hills with sniper rifles and the ones with the dogs going after American citizens , It looks like they're more of the terrorists than the Bundys , Did they expect they could go in and steal someones cattle ,kill a few of them in the process and destroy irrigation equiptment that did more to help the turtles ,than any thing the feds did and not have Americans go after this terroristic activity , Along with the Chinese solar deal that he won't talk about , He's the one that should be looked into along with the BLM military force . ,

    April 18, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. boo boo

    Bundy should just change his last name to chavez or muhammed. obama and the lefties would step in and give him the land for free.

    April 18, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Jim

    Let's take the filter off the news for just a minute and take a break from the parade-style coverage of the plane crash. I saw G-men menacingly pointing M-16s at women and children during a tense standoff...doesn't that sound familiar? It looked like Afghanistan, but right here in our country! Why doesn't anyone in the media portray this for what it is – a heavy-handed government response from the most transparent administration in history, trying to muscle something done instead of pursuing it through the courts.

    April 18, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Ragin Cajun

    During a retrospective on the American Revolution, Senator Reid heard the last part of the presentation only to jump up and declare that Gen. Washington and his men were "Domestic terrorists bent on an illegitimate attack on the government!"

    I know, but we shouldn't judge him harshly. Sen. Reid wasn't educated in a system enjoying the full implementation of the Common Core curriculum.

    April 18, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. John Z

    Reid is an idiot. Why anyone listens to anything he has to say amazes me. He claims Bundy didn't pay taxes (not true) just like he claimed Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes (also not true). How does he live with himself after spewing out stupid statement after stupid statement. Nevada, why do you keep electing this guy to the Senate?

    April 18, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Seve2U

    Reid is right. Bundy and his armed militia supporters cannot be permitted to flout the law. They can take their gripes up with a federal judge. But the government MUST enforce the law, and that means its time for the Nevada National Guard to get called up, bring in troops and apache helicopters, and arrest or kill anyone who stands in armed defiance of the Court's order. We are a nation of laws. We all must and will abide them, or face the harsh consequences.

    April 18, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. RRobertM

    A true patriot is one who when finding a parking ticket rejoices and exclaims 'Thank god! The system works!'.

    April 18, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Mike

    Great, lets bring Eric Holder in to form a task force. No doubt his plan will be to illegally sieze the cattle, export then to Mexico to rogue meat packers, who will taint the beef, re-export it to Nevada and get a bunck of people in Las vegas sick.

    Way to go Harry!

    April 18, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. KB1987

    What was that addition in the NDAA? Something about the govt/military having the right to indefinitely detain Americans if they're considered "terrorists."

    April 18, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Scott

    What terror have these people done? No terror. All they did was stand up to tyranny. Snipers? Really?
    Reid should be ASHAMED of his words. He doesn't serve the country and the people. He serves WASHINGTON DC.
    This Federal Government is an embarrassment. I am sure by saying such things Senator Reid would label me a "terrorist" as well.

    April 18, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. A True Patriot

    Real Americans don't pay taxes because that's just socialism and socialism is wrong. We need more assault weapons so we can stand up to the government and threatren to shoot anyone who doesn't let us do what we want. America is a free country and we want our free stuff. I'm gonna go and shoot me some drones to calm down.

    April 18, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. ToldUso

    Too many arguments here are "Well, Reid is making an illegal deal, so Bundy is doing what he can". I don't know if the solar deal is "illegal", but two wrongs don't make a right. Bundy is a criminal, and at least 3 court rulings have affirmed that. He and his supporters are terrorists. If the solar deal is illegal, let the courts handle it.

    April 18, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Creel

    Harry Reed is a Socialist, so why would any American care what he thinks? Our government just spent over one million dollar's of taxpayers money to a private contractor to round up a man's cattle to sell them at auction to settle his one million dollar tax debt. How stupid is that? In the end, they sold nothing, and collected nothing. So now, they're out two million bucks! Thats what liberals like Harry are best at, increasing losses.

    April 18, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. djjr

    Harry Reid is an idiot.

    April 18, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. amanda

    Seems Mr. Reid has some confusion as to the definition of terrorist.

    The rancher is legally in the wrong; but the government in this country is crushing anyone who is productive. SO F u to our government.

    April 18, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Lester

    Reid is absolutely right. This guy has not paid his taxes for years, thumbing his nose at the government and all other honest citizens that have paid for their rights. His supporters are nothing more than insurrectionists and terrorists who hate our lawfully elected government. The commentators at Fox News who prop these guys up are the worst kind of fellow travelers. God help us if these idiots ever get power.

    April 18, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Jose79845

    Reid just called about half of all Americans domestic terrorists.

    April 18, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Remain Free

    Its federal land... doesnt that mean its owned by everyone who lives in this country? Or does Federal land mean it is reserved for the select few that politicians want to use it. By US fence laws, if you use a piece of land for 25yrs without hiding the fact that you use it, it becomes yours.... His family has used the land for 100 years.

    April 18, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. texasnotea

    republicans are so lame. They bash anybody who calls someone "just like a terrorist" but support ted nugent for calling the President of the United States a "subhuman Mongrel" What a bunch of losers.

    April 18, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Malory Archer


    The property should be state owned and not federally owned and they should have the rights to ranch it, no matter how bad the Reid's want to profit from it.


    Until such time as the state purchases the land from the fed (how much would the state charge him to graze, 'cause I'm pretty sure they wouldn't allow him to continue to do so for free), your point is moot, no matter how much you want this welfare queen to continue to sponge off American taxpayers.

    April 18, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Brandon

    Sure they are terrorists. Just like those who participated in the Boston Tea Party were terrorists. It amazes me that people can laud what the American Revolutionaries did in the past but have such a statist, Tory mindset in the present.

    April 18, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. C

    I will openly say this is coming from a Democrat, albeit conservative Dem. This whole situation stinks to high heaven! Yes, this guy needs to pay his taxes. Just because your family has been there forever and a day does not abscond you from paying what you owe. Harry Reid is a flippin idiot and it appears to me, with the knowledge I have, that he is using the government to strong arm an American citizen! Calling them terrorists, REALLY?? He is a tax evader that is all and the Government shows up with military force. Something isn't right here? Should we show up at the doorsteps of the numerous Senators and House of Reps that have not paid their taxes with military force??? What is happening to this country?

    April 18, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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