The leader of the group "Cowboys for Trump" who was arrested for partaking in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, met with former President Donald Trump "several times" over the last couple of years, the Daily Beast reports.
Couy Griffin -- who also happens to be a New Mexico Republican county commissioner -- was charged on Jan. 17 with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. He filmed himself promising to return to D.C. for Joe Biden's inauguration armed with guns to "embrace" the Second Amendment, according to a criminal complaint against him.
"You want to say that that was a mob? You want to say that was violence? No sir," Griffin said in a video posted on the "Cowboys for Trump" Facebook page the day after the Capitol riot. "No Ma'am. No, we could have a 2nd Amendment rally on those same steps that we had that rally yesterday. You know, and if we do, then it's gonna be a sad day, because there's gonna be blood running out of that building. But at the end of the day, you mark my word, we will plant our flag on the desk of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Donald J. Trump if it boils down to it."
In several interview transcripts between the FBI and Griffin, he told agents he met Trump twice: once in September 2019 inside the White House and again in Albuquerque. But according to the Daily Beast, he relationship with Trump goes much deeper. In March 2019, Griffin said he had a 30-minute phone conversation with Trump after he organized a week-long horseback ride from Maryland to D.C. in the name of border security.
"He said, 'Couy, that sounds amazing'... 'If you will do that, then whenever you get here, there's 20 acres on the South Lawn and the gate will be open to you at the White House where you can ride your horses right in,'" Griffin said. "Then he jokingly said that he might have to get on my horse whenever I get there."
In February 2020, Griffin had another meeting with Trump in the Oval Office, with photos of the meeting being posted on the "Cowboys for Trump" Facebook page, which has apparently since been deleted.
"Three months later, Griffin released a video titled 'The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,' in which he insisted he was only speaking theoretically," the Daily Beast reports. "Trump promoted the controversial video on Twitter, writing, 'Thank you, Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!'"
Read the full report over at The Daily Beast.