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REVEALED: GOP officials promised political aid to violent felon if he joined Bundy’s war against the feds

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Republican elected officials admitted they promised to help a convicted felon run for elected office if he agreed to stop paying his mandated grazing fees.

A newly released recording reveals how GOP lawmakers and local officials were deeply involved with the occupation of an Oregon federal wildlife reserve earlier this year by armed militants, according to an in-depth report by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Many of the officials are members of the Coalition of Western States, which shares the militants’ stated goal of rolling back federal ownership of public lands for private use.

They met in early January, shortly after the armed occupation began, with local officials in Harney County to urge them to back militants led by Ammon Bundy — who is now among 24 who face a variety of federal charges for their role in the confrontation.

RELATED: Another Bundy militant arrested after threatening to ‘start shooting federal law enforcement’

The recording reveals several tense exchanges between Steve Grasty, the county’s top elected administrator, and Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, who did not travel to Oregon but took part in the meeting by phone.

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She has since launched a campaign for the U.S. Congress and continues to defend the militants and their tactics as lawful.

Oregon state Rep. Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg) brought a group of out-of-state lawmakers — including Reps. Graham Hunt and Matt Shea of Washington; Reps. Judy Boyle, Heather Scott and Sage Dixon of Idaho — to meet with Bundy and other armed militants.

Grasty, a vocal critic of the militants throughout the ordeal, called Bundy and his followers criminals and terrorists — but Fiore defended him as simply a frustrated rancher.

The county judge quickly corrected Fiore, pointing out that Bundy was actually a used truck salesman — and he flatly told her she had no idea what she was talking about during a discussion of two Oregon ranchers whose imprisonment sparked a protest that then led to the occupation.

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“Your impression that he is a nice guy, he is not a nice guy,” Grasty said of the imprisoned rancher.

Perhaps the most explosive detail revealed on the recording is an admission from the COWS co-founder that the group had orchestrated an appearance by a New Mexico rancher who publicly signed a pledge to stop paying his grazing fees on federal lands.

Robert Corbell, a county supervisor in Greenlee County, Arizona, said the rancher, Adrian Sewell, contacted COWS by email at least two months before the occupation, and the group arranged to bring him to Oregon in hopes of inspiring other ranchers to publicly disavow the Bureau of Land Management.

“According to Corbell, COWS contacted Sewell shortly after the occupation and promised to help him run for a local office in exchange for his appearing at the Jan. 23 event,” OPB reported.

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The 36-year-old Sewell was the only rancher to sign the pledge, renouncing his contract for 33,000 acres of the Gila National Forest he uses for grazing 100 cattle.

He recorded a tearful Facebook video on his way to the event about going to war, but he declined to discuss his prior criminal convictions once he arrived in the media glare in Oregon.

Sewell has convictions for assault in Texas and Oklahoma, where he was found guilty in 2002 and placed on probation for chasing other people with an ax.

He eventually decided not to join COWS, despite the group’s promise to boost his local political career, because he got into a fight with another member at slain militant LaVoy Finicum’s funeral over stolen weapons.

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“Adrian thought that Anthony (Bosworth) had stolen LaVoy’s guns the night everyone left (the refuge,” Corbell told OPB. “He was mad. He was real bowed up.”

(h/t JJ McNab)

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Pentagon gives senators classified briefing on UFOs reported by the Navy

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While it might sound like something out of "The X-Files," Navy pilots have been seeing UFOs, and U.S. Senators now want to know what's happening.

According to Politico, three more senators met with Pentagon officials for a classified briefing Wednesday about encounters pilots are having with unidentified aircraft. It seems the Pentagon is getting more and more requests by officials with high clearances to figure out what's happening.

The crafts are, at their most basic, nothing more than "unidentified aircraft," and while it isn't likely they're little green men, there are some senators who might have concerns about whether these UFOs are actually a foreign adversary.

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Wall Street Journal issues blistering editorial asking Trump what the point is of a second term

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In a blistering editorial, the Wall Street Journal is asking President Donald Trump what the point of a second term is since he hasn't done anything in his first term.

During his rally in Orlando Tuesday, Trump repeated the same tired lines and same tired policies from 2016. The "Promises Made, Promises Kept" slogan shown over the crowd, yet the supporters didn't understand the irony.

"The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was," the editorial board said. "Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile."

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‘Crosses a line’: New York Times publisher unleashes on Trump for accusing paper of ‘treason’

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On Wednesday, New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal, saying that President Donald Trump's latest attack on his paper "crosses a line."

First it was the "the failing New York Times." Then "fake news." Then "enemy of the people," wrote Sulzberger. "President Trump's escalating attacks on The New York Times have paralleled his broader barrage on American media. He's gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues. Now the president has escalated his attacks even further, accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.

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