U.S. Senator Ted Cruz “self-reported” he wears boots emblazoned with the “Come and Take It” motto every day to work, as he took one off and slammed it on the table during a hearing Thursday with FBI Director Chris Wray.
The Texas Republican attacked Director Wray for what he claims is an FBI memo identifying certain symbols as being associated with violent extremist militias, which they are, as evidenced in countless images from the January 6 insurrection.
Cruz expressed his outrage that, according to him, the Bureau has labeled those symbols, including the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag and the Gonzales “Come and Take It” Flag as indicators of involvement with anti-government militias, a claim the FBI Director refuted.
The “Come and Take It” flag includes those words, usually below a cannon and a star. It is popular in the Lone Star State, referencing back to the Battle of Gonzales, during the Texas revolution against Mexico.
“Also included on this is a text that I was particularly struck is the Gonzales battle flag, ‘come and take it,’ as indicative of being a violent extremist militia,” Cruz announced, pointed to a large poster of what he suggested was an FBI memo. “Well, I will self report right now that every day in the Senate I wear my boots that have the Gonzales battle flag on the back.”
“Director Ray, what are y’all doing? This makes no sense. Do you agree with this FBI guidance that the Betsy Ross flag and the Gadsden flag and the Gonzales battle flag are signs of militia violent extremism?” Cruz asked.
“Well, Senator,” Wray, appointed by then-President Donald Trump after he fired Jim Comey, told the Canadian-born Harvard Law lawmaker, “I’m not familiar with the particular document you have behind you.”
He went on to note that the symbols are not proof of involvement in violent extremist groups.
And I’m not in the practice of trying to comment on documents that I haven’t recognized, but I will tell you that when we put out intelligence products, including ones that reference symbols, which we do, across a wide variety of contexts, we usually make great pains, take great pains, to put caveats and warnings in the document to make clear that a symbol alone is not considered evidence of violent extremism.”
Watch the exchange between Sen. Cruz and Director Wray below or at this link.
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