Ammon Bundy, the leader of an armed militia that took over an Oregon wildlife preserve to protest federal land policies, said he’s quitting social media after facing backlash over comments he made criticizing President Trump over the migrant caravan.
Bundy told BuzzFeed News last week he decided to log off from his social media accounts for good after receiving enormous backlash from a video he made defending the migrant caravan and attempting to dispel conspiracy theories George Soros was behind the ordeal.
“It’s like being in a room full of people in here, trying to teach, and no one is listening,” he told BuzzFeed News. “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.”
Those who had supported Bundy and made him an unofficial leader of a “militia movement” during his armed standoff with the federal government expressed regret over his comments. However, Bundy clarified to The Washington Post on Friday he had no intentions of being that leader.
“I never joined a movement,” he told the newspaper. “We were ranching, and the government came to take our livelihood away, and we said ‘no.’ It was no more than that.”
Bundy told The Washington Post he disagreed with the president’s characterization of the migrants who traveled through Central America to get to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“He has basically called them all criminals,” Bundy said of Trump. “What about the fathers, the mothers, the children, who have come here and are willing to go through the process to apply for asylum so they can come into this country and benefit from not having to be oppressed continually by criminals?”
Bundy told BuzzFeed News he supports many of Trump’s policies and was thankful for a presidential pardon of the ranchers involved in the 2016 Oregon incident, but disagrees with his actions toward them migrant caravan.
“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.”
“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.”
Bundy said his lack of social media presence won’t stop him from being vocal about his beliefs. He said he will continue to do speaking engagements on gun rights and environmental issues.