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. rickcor2014

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

    April 18, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. NewIdeas

    Anyone who doesn't pay Reid... I mean Obama.... sorry, I mean the IRS the money they demand is a terrorist! After all, how can they lines their pockets... I mean buy more votes.... Sorry, I mean run the government without more money?

    April 18, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Max

    Right...the BLM shows up in force, with assault weapons, dogs, and tasers. They kill Mr Bundy's livestock and destroy his property, and Mr Bundy is the terrorist?

    I have absolutely no respect for this country.

    April 18, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. meltemi

    Who's done more damage to our country? Reid or terrorists? I can't imagine anyone who reads thinking "terrorists".

    April 18, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Mick

    Look, Bundy's an idiot – there's no denying that. He doesn't know his history, and as far as I'm concerned, he's just a cheap b@$t@rd, who's trying to pull a fast one. That being said however, Harry Reid is completely full of it! A "terrorist" is – by definition – someone who targets a civilian population with military action, in the hopes of forcing a change in political will. The 911 attacks were terrorism; however, so was the firebombing of Dresden by the U.S. and British air forces in WW2. By contrast, nobody was targeting – or even threatening – any civilians here. The BLM agents are armed and trained as police/military. In fact, if anybody was acting like terrorists, it was the BLM employees. If you don't know that stealing a man's cattle in the West is STILL a serious matter, you shouldn't be out here. By the same token, I've never felt any sympathy for the two FBI agents who were killed in the AIM unrest of the 1970s – come out from Washington in your suits and sunglasses, and think that gives you any credibility in the middle of the Standing Rock Reservation? Please.

    April 18, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Concerned

    It amazes me that our government labels anyone who does not agree with them a terrorist. Is this the new tactic in the world today that groups and governments are using to justify actions or paint someone as a villain? I guess we should consider our founding fathers all terrorist also since they did not agree with the ruling government at the time and picked up arms against them. Does that make all Americans terrorist? I believe that we should use restraint when calling someone a terrorist. Remember 9/11? Those were terrorist.

    April 18, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. fedup

    They held up I-15 traffic at gun point for over 3 hours!!!!!! Lets see what happens to anyone else that tries that. You would deffinitely be taken out like a terrorist and you should be! Agree or not with either side, that is absolutely a terrorist activity!!!!!

    April 18, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    This rancher is a free-loader. He's been ripping of the state for over a hundered years so this gives him the right to continue doing it?

    April 18, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Tom

    I live here and I know about it. And #Bently is stupid. I think I should own #Bently's property just because I think I should. Morons and extremists go hand in hand.

    April 18, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Native Americans?

    Why aren't the Native American's using this same argument to claim the land? Bundy's been on it 100 years...but those pesky Native American's might have a bigger claim.

    Aside from that....I'm a small business owner and I pay A LOT in Taxes. Republican or Democrat, it's not fair to me and other people, that if someone throws a tantrum and shows up with guns that they get to get out of the consequences of their actions. Yeah, Obama messed up, he did not stand his ground against a domestic terrorist.

    April 18, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Jonathan

    Some people call Harry Reid a domestic terrorist, Drastic strong words from a weak cowardly man... If you watch anything where they actually talk to the ranch owner, he's openly volunteered to pay the owed taxes/ fees to the state. While it can seem Bundy is being drastic, when most of the state is "public" land, but the public is not allowed to use it, its not public land, its private government land, if you dig into the root of this story some more you find the feds want to sell fracking rights for the contested land, which would ruin the countryside and end any chance of ranching. The feds should use public land for the public, followed by ause for public funds. And if anyone actually thinks this is about a desert tortoise..... you probably couldn't pour mud out of a boot if the directions were written on the heel

    April 18, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Mdl

    Liberals are like sheep, they need to managed, taken care of, everything provided and all thoughts given by the govt. anyone who thinks on their own, that can live and survive without the govt. in a liberals mind is to be cast out, Liberals are like sheep.

    April 18, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. JJ

    Bundy is not a patriot. He's just an a$$wipe who thinks he doesn't have to pay his bills if there's a black President in the White House. These putzes wouldn't get a clue of the meaning of the word "patriot" if they stripped naked, smeared themselves in clue musk and laid down all night in a field full of clues.

    April 18, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. JJ

    And Reid is right to call the morons supporting Bundy "terrorists." 100% correct.

    April 18, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. BS

    Members of Congress and the Senate should look at themselves in the mirror before they call anyone a domestic terrorist. If this is about obeying the law then why does the Federal government only enforce the laws they choose to and if it's about paying taxes, there are quiet a few members and employees that owe back taxes.

    April 18, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Bill Sheehan

    Bringing guns to point at police/agents performing a court ordered action, . . terrorism in my opinion. . . Bundy lost two court cases. . . . But no problem, they will litigate him into the ground and force him to sell his property. . . Watch, it will take 4 years, but he's toast eventually.

    April 18, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Name

    Sen Reid and the government are domestic terrorist not the people

    April 18, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Mike

    Harry Reid is a hater. Haters gonna hate. He needs to go

    April 18, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Howard

    If Exxon, Bank America and General electric don't pay taxes why should he have to?

    April 18, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. John

    C'mon people I think most of us agree that we should pay our taxes because most of us do right? But EVERYone has to pick and choose their battles – including the government. How much is it worth in tax payer resources to pursue this guy and why is he being singled out? And has the sensationalistic media got the entire story right? Who has jurisdiction here the state of Nevada or the feds? I think the verdict is still out on a lot of angles to this story. Regardless, it's ridiculous to call this guy a domestic terrorist. A tax evader? Maybe so. Reid is a heartless moron.

    April 18, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Hmmmmm.... American patriots labeled as terrorists by the tyrants that make up the government? Didn't this scenario already play out in history?

    April 18, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. Roland

    Well cant say he is wrong it went a little further then a protest it was shoot to kill or give the cattle back.

    April 18, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Steve Stinson

    Prescriptive Rights.

    April 18, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. rich

    Why should Harry Reid, his kid and the Chinese private business solar park deal trump the 100 year old grand-fathered claim the Bundy family has for the land? Hoppy toad, spotted, saber-tooth tortoise aside. Besides, environmentalists have already said the solar park would also threaten the tortoise.

    April 18, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. tm1946

    Got to believe George III believe the guys at Concord were "terrorists" also.

    I hope the leader of the US Senate would step above politics once in a while. But since he does not do much in passing laws, speeches are the next best thing.

    PS Every illegal action, the kind that put your rear in jail are not "terrorism".

    April 18, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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