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. BRB

    Bottom line – the Feds have increased their forces so much in the last five years that they need lots of training for the new recruits to this facist organization that we have to pay for at the same time they trample our citizen rights. These federal actions – there is a large list already – need to stop immediately or more incidents will occur that will result in bloodshed. They backed down this time because they were outnumbered.

    April 18, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Guest

    Harry Reid represents everything that is wrong with Washington, evil vile corrupt biggoted yep that's Harry Dirty Harry. The Ranchers have been grazing on that soil for over a century but here comes Harry and his boy who now works for the office to declare an endangered tortoise that was somehow surviving and thriving where those cattle were. It has NOTHING to do with a solar farm Harry and his boy want on that property which digging up all that will of course somehow not harm the tortoise......Just insider evil by the most corrupt Senator in Washington.

    April 18, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Frank

    You people need to look into the details about why Reid wants this land so badly. Turns out a former Reid staffer was just hired to run the BGM, 4 days before this confrontation started. Then look at why Reid might want this land. Well it turns out, he just brokered a 4 billion dollar deal with a Chinese solar panel manufacturer to build a massive solar farm in his state. Guess where he intends to build it? Thats right, on the Federaly owned land that farmers are using. He is working behind the scenes in Congress right now pulling the strings to make it happen. Reid stands to make millions of dollars if he gets this land, and he doesent care who dies in the process.

    April 18, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Malory Archer


    surprised reid did not work "racism" into his speech. the democrats use "racism" every time they find someone who disagrees with their ideology.


    Uh, no they don't. The right whines about something "this President" is doing, then shouts that the Dems are going to "accuse them or racism". Additionally, the right sure loves to toss about "communist" among other terms when whining about Dems. The truth hurts, babe but it is what it is.

    April 18, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. robert

    this isnt about paying taxes,its about the us government stealing our land from us,who are the us government ? the us government are now the terrorists, its we the people, not we the us government. the us government can go any where they want and do whatever they want to us and there is nothing we can do accept fight, like our ancestors did

    April 18, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Tundra_Yet_Again

    Well if Mr Reid feels this is something we just can't walk away from on principal, I think many agree with him on both sides. Going to draw a line in the sand with your own citizens and actually do something? We know how much a line in the sand really means now.

    April 18, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Elecmainln

    Here are some facts:
    -Neither Sen. Reid, nor his son, have any financial interest in this land. This is been bouncing around the rw echo chamber but there isn't a scintilla of truth to it, period.
    – Mr. Bundy is using public land to graze cattle that he will eventually sell for PROFIT. In other words, he's making a profit of off public land and hasn't paid fees since 1993. This makes him a thief, plain and simple. His family never owned any of the land in question, ever.
    – If you take up arms against the "government" then you are taking up arms against your fellow Americans. We are our government, and you are a domestic terrorist if you show up armed and ready to attack federal agents. You may not be bright enough to figure this out, but you don't stand a chance: if you and your buddies decide to shoot at police, federal agents, etc, then you will be destroyed and there will be very little sympathy from myself and the majority of Americans.

    April 18, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. HelloAll

    "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.”

    Cliven Bundy or Al Sharpton?

    April 18, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Mark

    One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. Instead of showing up with 200 heavily armed men they could have put a lien on his property for whatever the judgement is. If armed feds come back there will be patriots from all over this country that come to Mr. Bundy's defense, 9 of us from my area included.

    April 18, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Caveman

    I see the donkey is opening his mouth again. Seems like everyone is a terrorist who dont bow down before the democratic party and the current resident of the white house. He and all his other cronies are the domestic terrorist of this country.

    April 18, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Dave

    Saul, this is NOT state owned land. It id federal and has been for 20 years.
    The fact that the rancher doesn't like that and would PREFER it be state owned... is not an excuse to run a business for free at taxpayer expense for 20 years.

    The guy is a mooch using a 'conservative' rallying cause to hide the fact that he is just another welfare case sucking on the gvt teat and wanting a free ride on my dime.

    I say he pays me, the tax payer, back... or goes to jail.

    April 18, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Zeke

    Reid is a pathetic example of the sleazy democratic party members. He is a loser that blocked a vote in the Senate for 5 and one half years of a budget vote because he knew enough democrats would vote to pass it and Obama would have to veto it if he dared.

    April 18, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Steve

    I don't know what the whole big deal is. If you don't pay, You don't Play. I'm sorry the individual has forfeited his cattle to the sum of over a million dollars. I think our service men and women will appreciate a good steak meal. How do you red necks think all the roads were built so that you can get your trucks from point A to point B. Federal Tax dollars. Have our military go out there and start collecting the cows for market and if one of those Individuals shows up with a loaded gun. Well you figure out what happens next.

    April 18, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. john wright

    Reids terrorists are my freedom fighters! Democrat leaders are becoming more dangerous with rhetoric like Reids and one spark can set off a civil war to make Ukraine look like child's play!

    April 18, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. rs

    How far the Right has fallen:
    * Their new hero in a deadbeat who won't pay the grazing fees for his big herb of cattle (not "taxes" as some claim, these are use fees).
    * The guy has lost twice in court, and was told this would be the end result
    *Despite the fact the Republicans "want the danged laws enforced" when it comes to their pet nightmare-immigration, it is perfectly alright for this guy to thumb his nose at a legal process- one other area ranchers engage in and support.
    * Dead beat ranch shows up with armed thugs- that makes the GOP (who want another Waco), and the NRA (ditto) happy.

    These are patriots? Ha!

    April 18, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Keith

    You didn't see other ranchers coming to the aid of Mr. Bundy – probably because not paying grazing fees gives him an unfair market advantage over those who do. It's unfortunate that the BLM and other government agencies were said to "back down". They did the mature, professional thing by drawing back and defusing the situation. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of Mr. Bundy, but I hope the government forces him to pay his fair share like the rest of the ranchers do.

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

    Reid's evil face just gives me a creep!

    April 18, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Randy

    Get your cows off deer, elk, moose, territory I don't know about where this guy is from, but middle of November I see cows in the bush even tho the are supposed to be out be for November, if you can't afford to feed maybe you should down size how many hone steed are the feeding poor cows what about the elk deer that have almost nothing to eat poor farmer then I herd about a freak storm in October last year since when is snow in October a freak storm, I can remember tric or treating in snow, this was in North Dakota bunch of cows died seem like all farmers stand there with there hands out help me goverment yea yea spelling rite hear are some ........

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

    If they are terrorists, then does that make Reid a communist and traitor? Isn't it his son who stands to make millions for brokering a $5 billion dollar deal with the Chinese for a solar plant to be built on that land? And how was the land purchased so cheaply if not by using some political influence with the county? And isn't Reid's former chief of staff now the head of the BLM?

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

    Reid has no shame.

    April 18, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. sly

    They are terrorists. We believe in land rights here in America.

    Otherwise – I'll just come and take your land, whenever I want.

    America has so much to fear from right wing white domestic terrorists. They are our biggest enemy.

    April 18, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Imma Annoid

    Reid is the epitome of what's wrong with government. He is the poster child for term limits. Like most Senators and Congressman, he and his family have profited heavily from reign of incompetence in government. Yet, the FBI and Justice Dept. do nothing about it.

    We need more "terrorists" like Bundy to take a message to DC like they have done in Nevada.

    April 18, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. rickcor2014

    He is right! These people are domestic terrorists and should be deal with accordingly.

    April 18, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Angus Bill

    Let me understand this... this incompetent administration refuses to label Muslim terrorists as "Terrorists", but local Cowboys standing up for a Rancher's defense against hundreds of Government employees armed with Assault Rifles are "Terrorists".

    April 18, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. mrkhrrs

    The BLM should have just filed liens against his property, and seized bank accounts which is the traditional and benevolent way of collecting a debt.. The government does it a thousand times a week . Instead they spent three million collecting one, and got the entire nation riled up.

    That, and the first amendment zones are the problems I have with how this was handled.

    April 18, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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