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Ammon Bundy Stands By Comments On Migrants Despite Backlash From Supporters

In this Dec. 20, 2017 file photo, Ammon Bundy walks out of a federal courthouse in Las Vegas.
(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

In this Dec. 20, 2017 file photo, Ammon Bundy walks out of a federal courthouse in Las Vegas.

The Bundy name has become synonymous with controversy in Nevada. 


In 2014, the Bundy Ranch standoff drew international attention as self-described militia stood with the Bundys against the federal government. 


Two years later, Ammon Bundy and others took over a wildlife refuge in Oregon. One man in Bundy’s group was killed by Oregon state troopers. 


And this year, Ryan Bundy ran for governor in Nevada as an independent. 


All the while, men and women with a conservative outlook on many issues looked to the Bundys for leadership. 


However, that may have changed after Ammon Bundy expressed his views about the caravan of migrants from Central America. 

Bundy told KNPR's State of Nevada that he had been asked several times to give his opinion about the situation. So, he researched what was going on and a few weeks ago posted a message on Facebook.

In the message, Bundy took issue with President Donald Trump's stance on the migrants seeking asylum and said that they were people who needed help.

The backlash from supporters was swift and strong. Some people accused him of being paid by 'left-wing globalists.'

Bundy believes his stance on the asylum seekers is consistent with his firm belief in individual rights.

“For me to stand up for the individuals that are in need and suffering from other countries, wanting to come here for relief, I don’t think is inconsistent with our message," he said.

Bundy said when he looked into the issue he found inaccuracies in both right-wing and left-wing media outlets, including President Trump's assertion that the caravan was full of criminals or that the migrants were being paid to come here.

“Whether I was going to offend them or not, I still had to speak the truth,” he said. And although he was surprised by the level of the reaction, Bundy said he was not unaware that his comments would be controversial.

“I have felt for some time that a large amount of the people that had kind of joined the bandwagon, if you will, for supporting our family have not done it because of the correct principals or the principals in which we were… standing up for, which is individual rights,” he said.

Bundy said people who support President Trump should not blindly follow him but instead should look at each individual decision he makes and decide if it is right or wrong.

“I do feel that it’s extremely dangerous to follow a man especially in his position no matter what,” he said.

Ammon Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.