Militia leaders have “wound themselves up to believe all kinds of rumors” about the migrant caravans slowly making their way towards the U.S. border, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported Thursday.
“In the process, the militias have gorged on an array of hoaxes and conspiracy theories floated by conservative media, anti-immigrant groups and President Donald Trump himself, who released an ad about the caravan before the midterms that was deemed so racist that Fox News and other news channels pulled it off the air,” SPLC reported. “The fantasies the militias have embraced smear the caravan as an invading army rather than a group of a few thousand desperate people fleeing poverty and violence.”
“At the same time, however, the militia movement has been afflicted by infighting and backstabbing over the caravan and their response to it,” SPLC continued. “But behind the scenes, these irregular armies are made up of unreliable individuals. Leaders have insulted other leaders. Groups have broken alliances with other groups. And self-described commanders have resigned their positions in the militias they run.”
One of the militia leaders SPLC interviewed was Larry Hopkins, who goes by his stage name of Johnny Horton Jr.
Hopkins calls himself the “national commander” of the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP).
In a recent interview with somebody calling himself “Mr. X” while wearing a gas mask and black hoodie, Hopkins claimed he knows Donald Trump personally.
“When I was doing music, I met Trump and his first wife when he had the casino in Las Vegas, and I played there numerous times. OK?” Hopkins said. “That’s how I knew him. And Trump and I have kept in touch ever since.”
According to Hopkins, Trump wanted intel from him about the northern border with Canada, because that’s where “all the Muslims are coming in.”
During an interview with SPLC, Hopkins claimed his information about the caravans came from “very high level” law enforcement sources and “from the very top.”
SPLC pressed him on his sources.
“I am not giving any information where my information comes from,” he said. But, he added, “I’m not implying the president.”