The head of veterans’ group founded by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign voiced hearty support for the armed militia currently occupying an Oregon wildfire refuge, a fight the billionaire Republican has said has gone on too long.
Jerry DeLemus, co-chair of Veterans for Trump in New Hampshire, said in a Tuesday interview with Reuters that Bundy and his allies have already seen “great success” in their fight against the “thug-like, terroristic” efforts of the federal government to wrest control of public lands from local ranchers.
DeLemus traveled to visit the occupation in Burns, Oregon earlier this month, and concluded the self-styled militia’s cause is “peaceful” and “constitutionally just.” According to Reuters, DeLemus also spent a month in 2014 at the Nevada ranch of Cliven Bundy, who staged his own armed showdown with the federal government over public grazing lands.
Despite Trump’s earlier remarks that “you have to maintain law and order, no matter what” and “you cannot let people take over federal property,” DeLemus said he wants the GOP frontrunner to know “the whole story.”
“It’s my intention to ensure that he has the whole story,” he said. “I think it’ll really arouse him, and once he understands, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him heading out West.”
DeLemus is no stranger to controversial far-right causes. In June 2015, he planned a “draw Muhammad” contest after a shooting on a similar event in Garland, Texas – a pet project that also brought Jon Ritzheimer, an organizer of the Oregon occupation, into the limelight.