An anti-Islam activist and member of the militant group seizing an Oregon wildlife refuge said in a video released on Friday that the movement was bigger than their own individual pasts — after insulting another member of the group.
Jon Ritzheimer opened the video by criticizing “anti-violence patriot” Lewis Arthur in the wake of a confrontation between Arthur and “Blaine Cooper” — the name used by multiple-time felon Stanley Blaine Hicks. The 14-minute statement was posted on Cooper’s Facebook page.
“I’m questioning whether or not this Lewis Arthur is perhaps a homeless person and has found a way to develop this guise using the name ‘veteran’ for Veterans on Patrol to get people to sympathize with him and donate to them so that he can have shelters and food and everything brought to him,” Ritzheimer said. “So, again, people, if you just think you know Lewis Arthur from social media, you do not know Lewis Arthur.”
Arthur, who has identified himself as the leader of the Veterans on Patrol group, was accused of seeking “a couple seconds of fame” after saying that he was attacked by Cooper while attempting to remove women and children from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, as well as Ryan Bundy, who took part in the federal standoff with Cliven Bundy in 2014 and boasted about setting up sniper teams during that encounter.
- Militia leader Ammon Bundy: Occupiers will leave wildlife refuge only as ‘free men’
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- Oregon militants brawl as friends beg them to go home: ‘You’re surrounded by informants’
At one point in the video, someone can be heard whispering the line, “We need to stop fighting with each other,” which Ritzheimer repeats. Later, he asked viewers not to focus on the background of any individual in the group.
“Maybe there is a felon here,” he said. “Let he who’s out there without sin cast the first stone. Yes, Blaine Cooper may have an ugly past, but that man stood by my side when we thought there was certain death headed our way.”
Ritzheimer did not mention that “Cooper’s” past includes felony charges for assault with and without a deadly weapon, as well as alcohol- and traffic-related offenses. The Oath Keepers militia group has described Cooper’s position within the group as “the first sign that nothing good was going to come” from their action backing up Ammon and Ryan Bundy’s taking of the facility.
For his part, Ritzheimer first attracted national attention last year after boasting about making t-shirts saying “F*ck Islam” and organizing armed protests against mosques in Arizona. He subsequently gained the attention of the FBI after threatening to attack a small, majority-Muslim community in New York state.
On Friday he described the taking of the refuge as a sacrifice he and his cohorts were willing to undertake for the good of the country.
“A lot of people here are losing work — they’re not able to go home and provide for their families. I am one of them,” he argued. “But I’m making that pledge to these men to know that as long as the greater good for America comes from all of this, what’s mine is yours.”
However, Ritzheimer did not mention that he actually relies on his veterans’ disability pay as well as “a wife that works.”
Watch Ritzheimer’s statement, as posted online on Friday, below.
SHARE! BREAKING ALERT MARINE JON RITZHEIMER SPEAKS-OUT ABOUT OREGON SITUATION TO DISPEL RUMORS! WE NEED YOUR HELP! Israel TorresADVERTISEMENT
Posted by Blaine Cooper on Friday, 8 January 2016
Trump aide Cuccinelli snaps after CNN’s Camerota shows him pictures of caged kids: ‘I’m not going to take that’
A CNN interview with acting Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli took a contentious turn on Friday morning after host Alisyn Camerota showed him pictures of immigrant children being held in cages and asked him why he would want to hold them even longer based upon a recent policy change he instituted.
As the CNN host pressed the Trump administration official on plans to hold children indefinitely, she put pictures of the kids in cages up on the screen which angered Cuccinelli.
"On one level it protects children, but it also exposes children to the overcrowding. Here's some of the roll we've been playing for months," she began, only to have the White House official cut her off.
Trump campaign official bizarrely compares president to Mother Teresa: ‘Who has done more for women?’
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Tana Goertz, the key primary state's Trump Team coordinator, claimed the president had done more for women than possibly anyone else in history than the sainted Calcutta nun, reported CBS News.
"There's not a person alive that literally has done so much for a female, for the female population," Goertz said. "I can't think of one person that I could go, except for Mother Teresa. I mean, literally, who has done more for women in office than Donald Trump?"
Goertz, a contestant on the third season of Trump's NBC reality show, said the president would boost the election chances of other Republicans running in next year's election, after last year's midterm losses for the GOP.
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MSNBC guest host John Heilemann warned on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s behavior has been “manic, unhinged, and unnerving” in recent days — and some fear it will only get worse.
Heilemann was filling in for Nicolle Wallace on “Deadline: White House.”
He noted at the top of the show that Trump’s behavior has driven a consensus this week that he’s even less even-keeled than usual — which is saying a lot.
“The world is reeling and offering a collective judgment of O-M-G and W-T-F,” Heilmann said. He then played a clip of Trump’s bizarre, belligerent, and blatantly racist comments. He claimed that “no one can be trusted,” that Jews who vote for Democrats are “disloyal,” and that he is “the Chosen One.”