The leader of an armed militia who was arrested over the weekend and claimed to be training to assassinate Obama says he's in constant contact with Trump and the White House.
The recently arrested leader of an anti-immigrant right-wing militia bragged in a YouTube interview that he has known Trump for years and has been in contact with Trump's White House.
Larry Mitchell Hopkins — aka Johnny Horton, Jr. — declared that he is "100 percent for Trump" during a November 2018 interview with Renegade Network, a conspiracy theorist’s YouTube channel.
Hopkins was arrested over the weekend by the FBI on charges of firearms and ammunition possession, a violation of the law because he is a convicted felon. He is the head of United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), a self-identified armed militia group that has harassed and rounded up hundreds of asylum seekers at the southern border.
In the 2018 interview, Hopkins claims to be in ongoing direct communication with Trump and other officials in the White House.
"Trump is calling me," Hopkins said.
Hopkins claimed that Trump requested information from him about activities at the border and that he sent it through his contact "to get to Trump." Hopkins claimed his contact "works directly out of the Oval Office."
According to the militia leader, "Trump responded immediately" with information "on the northern border where are all the Muslims are coming in" and information on supposed "Muslim camps" within the United States.
Trump has engaged in anti-Muslim rhetoric for years and implemented a Muslim ban his first week in office. In 2016, hate crimes skyrocketed 226% in counties where Trump held campaign rallies at which he often talked about banning Muslims and other immigrants if he got into office.
The Daily Beast reported that Hopkins' arrest warrant contained statements from witnesses that the armed group was training to "assassinate" President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and philanthropist George Soros.
All three have been repeatedly attacked by Trump and were also the targets of the pro-Trump mail bomber who was arrested last year.
Hopkins said he has personally known Trump for a long time, from before he became a politician.
"In the music industry, 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 — that’s how I knew him," he explained.
Trump is the part owner of the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.
"Trump and I have kept in touch ever since as a friendly," the militia leader added. He insisted that Trump's White House is "using me for a research deal," and declared, "Trump is listening to our radio show now, we know for a fact."
Trump has been soft on right-wing threats to the country.
At the same time, Trump has pushed previously fringe theories about a supposed "deep state" working to undermine his presidency and Democratic members of Congress who are not loyal to America. His supporters have taken his paranoid rantings seriously and real-world threats have emerged as a result.
Whether Hopkins and his group are actually in contact with Trump or any members of his administration is unknown, but they are indisputably encouraged and inspired by his rhetoric and policies.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.