- The Washington Times - Friday, December 7, 2018

Ammon Bundy, the Mormon rancher who famously led two armed standoffs against the feds in Nevada in 2014 and Oregon in 2016, has renounced the militia movement due to its hardline immigration stance and unwavering loyalty to President Trump.

“The vast majority seemed to hang on to what seemed like hate, and fear, and almost warmongering, and I don’t want to associate myself with warmongers,” Mr. Bundy told BuzzFeed News in an interview published Thursday.

“The time we find ourselves in now that is closest found in history is Germany in the 1930s, and they had a leader that was loved, and it was the same kind of following,” he said. “I don’t want to say there is that extreme similarity, but it very well could go that way, and people just give up their thinking, their rights, and they give up their government because they were so willing to follow [the president].”

Mr. Bundy said he is grateful for Mr. Trump’s presidential pardon of the ranchers at the center of the Oregon standoff, but said he can’t get behind the president’s immigration policies or the way he characterized the migrant caravan.

“I believe President Trump, the best way I could explain it, is that he’s a nationalist, and a nationalist in my view makes the decision that best benefits the nation, not the individual,” he said. “That is not freedom, and that is not what America was built upon.”

Mr. Bundy comments come after he sparked a fierce backlash from supporters in the militia movement when he slammed Mr. Trump’s rhetoric concerning the caravan. Followers who helped guard his father’s ranch in 2014 said they now regretted doing so, BuzzFeed reported. He said he also received death threats.

“Those on the right have been so fanatically loyal to him that any word of opposition to bring out light in what he might be doing that is incorrect draws hate,” he said.

Mr. Bundy said he has since shut down his social media accounts and renounced the movement he brought into the national spotlight.

“I think they have their leader,” he added, referring to the president. “I think, you know, President Trump is clearly their leader, and I think wherever he tells them to go, they’ll go.”

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