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‘I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die’: Oregon militia occupiers fess up to local reporters

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While headliners from the national media are either en route or remaining in their studios to cover the militia takeover of a federal building in Burns, Oregon, local reporters are working the front lines and tweeting updates as the armed “patriots” settle into what they say will be a long occupation.

On social media, many have complained about the big networks either passing on the militia takeover story or soft-pedaling it.  Local reporters, who covered the Hammond trial and saw militia members begin to gather in the small town, have set up their own camp outside of the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to report on their doings.

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Writing for OPB, Amanda Peacher stated that early estimates of 150 occupiers are wildly inflated, saying, “only a few dozen men are occupying the federal building.”

According to Peacher, federal employees were advised to stay clear of the refuge, in a memo that read: “Our top concern is employee safety. All employees are accounted for, and the Refuge will be closed until further notice. Employees of all land management agencies in the area will operate from alternate worksites, telework, or administrative leave.”

Outside of the refuge, she interviewed one militia member — identifying himself only as “Capt. Moroni” — who told her, “I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die.”

A series of tweets from Peacher below:

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According to Jason Wilson, who drove in from Portland to cover the stand-off for the Guardian, “There were no law enforcement agents visible in the area around the refuge. A man with a goatee beard and wraparound sunglasses stood guard, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, and refused entry to the federally owned facility.”

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“He declined to give his name or affiliation, citing ‘operational security,'” Wilson wrote. “He did confirm, however, that the men – several of whom were openly carrying assault weapons – would be camping on the site. ‘This public land belongs to we the people,’ he said. ‘We’ll be here enjoying the snow and the scenery.’”

Wilson was also one of the first to photograph armed militiamen as they began the takeover of the federal facility.

OregonLive reporter Les Zaitz was the first to speak with ringleader Ammon Bundy who told him, “The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds. We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely. This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

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According to Zaitz, the FBI is in charge at the scene because the refuge is on federal property.

Additionally, the Harney County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police are on the scene as well. Zaitz tweeted this morning that Bundy had scheduled a press conference for 11AM.

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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2020 Election

Bloomberg and Biden attack Sanders supporters’ ‘Trump-like’ tactics

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On Monday, The New York Times analyzed the state of the Democratic presidential primaries heading into the Nevada caucuses. One of the key new developments is a fresh volley of attacks on the behavior of supporters for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which is being characterized as "Trump-like" by former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, which has largely focused its attacks on President Trump, on Monday mounted a frontal offensive against one of his Democratic rivals for the first time, comparing Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign tactics with those employed by the president," wrote Thomas Kaplan, Kate Conger, and Reid Epstein.

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