Policy: Law

Harry Reid: Supporters of Nevada rancher are 'domestic terrorists'

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Congress,Agriculture,Harry Reid,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Terrorism,Nevada,Law,Cliven Bundy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, who has been fighting with the federal government over grazing, "domestic terrorists."

"These people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They're nothing more than domestic terrorists," the Nevada Democrat said at an event Thursday hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"We are a country that people should follow the law, and what went up [at Bundy's ranch] is not very good."

Reid said he has spoken with Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey "in detail" about the situation and concluded "it's an issue that we cannot let go and just walk away from it."

"Cliven Bundy does not recognize the United States, he says the United States is a foreign government," he said. "He doesn't pay his taxes, he doesn't pay his fees — unlike the rest of the Nevada ranchers – and he doesn't follow the law."

Reid also accused Bundy supporters of using women and children as human shields, saying they said, "If anyone got hurt, we want to make sure they got hurt first, because we want the federal government hurting women and children."

Throngs of Bundy supporters, many armed with firearms, have come to protest outside his southern Nevada ranch, vowing to defend the rancher in his dispute with the federal Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing rights.

The bureau says the rancher has trespassed on federal lands since the 1990s and owes more than $1 million in back grazing fees. Bundy has refused to pay, saying he doesn't recognize federal authority of the land and insists it belongs to Nevada.

The two decades-old dispute escalated this month after the bureau seized cattle from Bundy. The agency returned about 400 head of cattle last weekend because of "escalating tensions," the Associated Press reported.

Reid earlier this week told a Reno TV station the dispute wasn't over. The Bundy family responded that the lawmaker should mind his own business.

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