Ammon Bundy, one of the leaders of the 2016 armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, criticized President Donald Trump this week for lying about the caravan of refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.
Bundy says the president has painted the refugees with too broad a brush.
"[Trump] called them all criminals and said they're not coming in here," he says in a video posted Nov. 27 to Facebook in which Bundy talks extensively about why the U.S. should process the migrants' asylum applications. "What about the fathers, the mothers and the children that have come here and are willing to go through the process to apply for asylum?"
He says conservative media outlets and politicians have incorrectly characterized those seeking a better life in the U.S. as criminals and terrorists. In the same video, Bundy also criticized what he called the "liberal" media, for having a "bleeding heart" mentality about the refugees.
The Bundy family gained influence in conservative circles, particularly among people who identify with right-wing militias. But Bunday says his criticism of Trump's hardline rhetoric about shutting down the southern border has caused some of Bundy's followers to send him hate mail.
Bundy says he would be willing to sponsor a couple of refugee families and help them get established in America. He says the U.S. has a "labor crisis" and there are thousands of employers who could use more workers. He also appealed to his followers' faith.
"Faith is the opposite of fear," he says. "We have been asked by God to help strangers."
He says fears that asylum seekers from Central American countries like Honduras could be harboring criminals, diseases or terrorists are "factually incorrect."
"To say we're not helping them is completely opposite of who we are as a Christian nation," he says. "Stop the hate and remember what it really means to be a Christian and what it really means to be a Christian nation."