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. Getoverit

    No way! Harry Reid called someone a domestic terrorist? Say it ain't so!

    April 18, 2014 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  2. You

    I don't understand how someone cannot pay taxes and the government doesn't deal with it for decades? Good to know that if I dont want to pay taxes I can just stop and nothing will happen.

    April 18, 2014 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  3. jim payne

    The biggest terrorist here is Harry Reid himself, who is invested in selling the land to a major Solar Energy Producer and then trying to destroy the livestock of the people who have complete and irrevocable rights to have their cattle grazing on the Nevada's state-owned land!

    April 18, 2014 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  4. jerome

    Bundy thumbs his nose at authority while Reid thumbs his nose at the American people.

    April 18, 2014 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  5. Dallas329

    Reid epitomizes the government bungling of this case and why so many people hold this administration in contempt. If Bundy is a tax evader, he should be brought in to settle what he owes in an orderly process no different than what the IRS does to include liens and seizure of property as a last resort. Since when do so many domestic branches of government have so much para-police equipment and staffing and approach every issue as a SWAT team operation? That is what needs to get fixed.

    April 18, 2014 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  6. Jon

    Harry Reid is a useless example of a human being. He and his minions are domestic terrorists. They have done everything they can to destroy this country. What happened in Nevada where Americans grew a pair and stood up to the feds is a GREAT thing. Maybe the next time the feds will think twice before trying to act all rambo like...

    April 18, 2014 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  7. Douglas B.

    Harry Reid you need to be fired and jailed. How do you have a job? Calling Americans that are sticking up for what they feel is right is not Domestic terrorism. Mr Reid you are a terrorist. Your trying to provoke violence and you should be jailed!

    April 18, 2014 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  8. Jacl Lennon

    Since when is a senator an "authority"? He works for us...

    April 18, 2014 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  9. dudley0416

    Reid calls citizens who support Nevada rancher domestic terrorists, Ukraine calls Ukrainian citizens who are Russian sympathizers terrorists. Ukrainians have accused Russian sympathizers of being Nazis.

    Coincidence or common branding for a political purpose?

    Prediction 1: Bloomburg will use the "T-word" to refer to the NRA before July 4th. NRA donations will pour in from directions previously unknown.

    Prediction 2: Reid will try to use "Nazi" to refer to rancher and will look like a buffoon, again. One brand of politicos will pretend not to notice.

    April 18, 2014 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  10. Mike H

    That is an incredibly dangerous use of language that ultimately will prove to be precursor and enabling language to come out shooting. As I am not an American <I am Canadian. I am trying real hard to retain some neutrality here. I can sort of see the Fed side but after reviewing all media on topic, it comes down to this. They have a point.........they absolutely do not have a fight. I used to believe I sat in the middle of Democratic thinking and Republican thinking. Over the last 6 years, I am absolutely stunned at the abuse of power, illegal or otherwise that I have seen. I believe that is now the true ground to stand on. God Bless!!

    April 18, 2014 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  11. Robert Sample

    I wonder if Harry Reid would be to take up this fight if his son wasn't working for the Chinese people that want that land. It seems the rancher must have learned to follow only the laws you like from our president and the attorney general.

    April 18, 2014 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  12. Anonymous

    That is the pot calling the kettle black.

    April 18, 2014 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Terrorist are people that blow up buildings, commit mass murder, or threaten large numbers of civilians that are no threat in return.

    The only terrorist is Senator Reid.

    April 18, 2014 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  14. Bob the builder

    Reid probably doesn't pay taxes either.

    April 18, 2014 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  15. the plumber

    Reid is a fine one to be talking about terrorist. He's just pissed because it came out that he and his son were in partnership with the chinese to build a solar facility. This has nothing to do with the toroise, it's all about money. His! if the goverment wins, we all lose. Reid needs to be put out to pasture. The american people are tired of the government stealing from us. His gestapo tactic didn't work. What's next, gorilla warfare, midnight raids? Enough is enough!

    April 18, 2014 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  16. Thatguy371

    Reid is right. Anyone who would side with a group of aggressive jurrks, armed, challenging the feds, when the people in question WERE indeed breaking the laws... yeah, they ARE terrorists. The feds should've called in a bunch of Natl Guardsmen and locked them all up.

    April 18, 2014 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  17. GoFaster58

    It seems almost every day Harry Reid opens mouth, inserts both feet. Does this man not listen to himself? He's got an interest in this fight. That's why he wants the ranchers out of there.

    April 18, 2014 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  18. CRG

    While Mr. Bundy may be in the wrong if he has failed to pay taxes or grazing fees, the Feds actions seen inappropriate and unnecessary. This should be handled by the courts rather than the BLM. I am also concerned with these armed militias gathering to challenge government authority, there are far too many of these reactionary private armies, but Senator Reid is out of line calling them terrorists. He needs to refer to a good dictionary for the meaning of terrorism. I doubt if Sen. Reid is really concerned about the desert tortoise. In dealing with this Bundy issue, the Feds should consider this: It is never a good idea to give a child a piece of candy and then try to take it away. The Feds need to back off and leave this one alone.

    April 18, 2014 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  19. Doug

    No, Mr. Reid, the Federal Agents who go about grabbing OUR land and then trying to extort payment from us are the Terrorists. Just because a crime is committed under the guise of the US Gov't, doesn't make it any less of a crime. All of you Pols and Gov't workers seem to have a habit of forgetting that YOU work for US.

    April 18, 2014 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Harry Reid, saying people don't follow the law? hello, POT, I'm Kettle

    April 18, 2014 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  21. John

    Well count me as a supporter of a rancher that has been on this land for 100 years. I guess that makes this red blooded American a "domestic terrorist"

    Maybe we should look at Harry Reid's motivations in this (curious that he isn't supporting his own constituent). Or maybe his business deals with Chinese companies. He is a traitor.

    the feds lost this before it began and should count themselves lucky that they were able to extricate there SWAT teams before they killed some cowboys holding American flags.

    April 18, 2014 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  22. MJD

    How can anyone in their right mind take this guy seriously?

    April 18, 2014 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  23. Jo

    Darn, he might as well be...a congressman

    April 18, 2014 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  24. joejmauro

    Wow the man who orchestrated this whole disaster is finally talking!I guess he is afraid the Chinese payoffs will stop.

    April 18, 2014 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  25. Javier

    It's impossible to believe anything Reid says... he's proven that selling socialism is more important than the truth.

    April 18, 2014 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
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