- The Washington Times - Monday, January 4, 2016

A Tennessee state lawmaker is facing considerable backlash after he tweeted support for the armed protesters who took over a building in a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Sunday.

A group led by Ammon Bundy — son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who led a standoff with federal officials over grazing rights in 2014 — took over part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest federally imposed penalties related to wildfires. In a now-deleted tweet, Rep. Andy Holt, a Republican, asked where he could “send support” to the demonstrators.

“#bundymilitia Where can I send support for your effort?” he tweeted at some point late Sunday or early Monday, The Tennessean reported.

Despite mounting criticism for the tweet, Mr. Holt doubled down on his support for the group’s actions.

“Ferguson protesters set streets on fire/destroy countless properties- liberals call it free speech, but say #bundymilitia R terrorists lol,” he wrote.

“Support 10th Amdmt, support #bundymilitia. I support both-Although, setting buildings on fire doesn’t accomplish much. Wait- tht’s Baltimore,” he added.

Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson, a Democrat who describes himself on Twitter as a “self professed homosexual,” accused Mr. Holt of spewing hate speech and called on the federal government to investigate the Republican for treason. After he implied in a tweet that Mr. Holt is a “fake Christian,” Mr. Holt responded: “A ‘self professed homosexual’ providing a litmus test for Christians? Tahaha!”

Mr. Holt responded to accusations of homophobia: “Phobic typically means you are afraid. Not sure what there is to be afraid of concerning Mr. Anderson.”

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