Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) presented an impassioned defense of militia members in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, according to The Kansas City Star. Hawley was 15 years old at the time.
The senator currently faces calls for his resignation after he supported former President Donald Trump’s baseless voter fraud claims, particularly after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol earlier this month.
Via Business Insider:
The Star reported that following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Hawley wrote a column for his hometown paper, The Lexington News, in which he warned against calling antigovernment militia members domestic terrorists.
Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the men who carried out the bombing that killed 168 people, had ties to the Michigan Militia, an antigovernment group dating back to the 1990s.
"Many of the people populating these movements are not radical, right-wing, pro-assault weapons freaks as they were originally stereotyped," Hawley wrote of militia groups. "Dismissed by the media and treated with disdain by their elected leaders, these citizens come together and form groups that often draw more media fire as anti-government hate gatherings."
The teenage Hawley also wrote: "Feeling alienated from their government and the rest of society, they often become disenchanted and slip into talks of 'conspiracy theories' about how the federal government is out to get them."