Clarification for Media: Oath Keepers Will NOT Be Going Armed into Cleveland During RNC or Assisting With Security There

media distortion

Attention all media personnel: As the Founder and National President of Oath Keepers, I  am hereby putting you on notice that the Oath Keepers organization has never had plans to go armed into Cleveland during the Republican National Convention (RNC), the Oath Keepers organization will not being going armed into Cleveland during the RNC, and we will not be conducting any armed security operations at any events in Cleveland during the RNC.

The media has recently been breathlessly but erroneously reporting that Oath Keepers will be going armed into Cleveland during the RNC this next next week, as we had gone armed to other events in the past, such as when we guarded businesses and apartments during the arson and looting in Ferguson, MO,* and then provided an armed escort for Inforwars reporters in Ferguson.

For example, the New York Times reported on July 11, 2016 that “One group made up of current and former members of the military called the Oath Keepers, who have shown up at other tense events heavily armed, say they again plan to carry weapons into Cleveland.

That was false.  We have never stated that we, as an organization, planned to carry weapons into Cleveland.   And we have no such plans.   Yesterday, July 15, 2016, I sent the New York Times an email demanding a correction of their story, and today they posted the following correction:

Correction: July 16, 2016

An article Tuesday about concerns over visitors and protesters taking firearms to downtown Cleveland during the Republican National Convention misstated the position of Oath Keepers, a group of current and former members of the military that has shown up at other tense events heavily armed. Members of the group said in online postings they would travel to Cleveland; the group itself did not say it plans to do so.

I request that all media who erroneously reported that we plan on going armed into Cleveland during the RNC make similar corrections to their stories to reflect the truth.

The reporter for the New York Times still insists that some of our members, somewhere online, said they were going to go armed into Cleveland, without providing any proof, but at least she now states that we as an org have no plans to do so.  That’s about the best we can expect, I suppose.

Now, it is true that on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 we did receive a request for assistance from the Bikers for Trump, who asked us to provide a tactical leadership team to help them supervise their biker security volunteers during a rally in a park near the RNC on Monday, July 18, 2016.  But that request came too late for our LEO and military security experts (lead by Missouri Oath Keepers leader John Karriman) to put together such a leadership team and plan such an operation, and we regretfully had to decline the request, as I explained in a comment I left on an article posted on the Citizens for Trump website.

oath keepers ferguson

John Karriman (on left wearing black Oath Keeper hat) leads Oath Keepers in Ferguson.

But even that consideration of a limited request for a leadership team, which we regretfully had to decline, does not constitute us planning to go armed into Cleveland.  I have to wonder why the leftist media, and the regime supporting attack dogs over at Southern Poverty Law Center, are so eager to tie us to imminent Charlie Foxtrot about to go down at the RNC in Cleveland.  What do they know that we don’t?

Stewart Rhodes

*  The Southern Poverty Law Center is now trying to rewrite history by saying that during the Ferguson riots, “Oath Keepers served as a private security force to protect white businesses from looting.”   The truth is that we guarded businesses owned by blacks (Natalie’s Cakes and More), Asians (Korean owned beauty supply and Asian owned Chinese restaurant), as well as whites (a white owned dental office).  Their color didn’t matter to us, as we protect all Americans, but since the left likes to focus so much on race, let’s make that clear.  And we also protected lives, not just property, since we protected the families of all colors who lived in apartments above those businesses –  men, women, and children – from the deadly threat of murder by arson.     And we didn’t ask the race of the people who lived there before deciding to protect them, because it was irrelevant to us.   But of course, the SPLC can’t tell the truth about us as that doesn’t fit their agenda.


Natalie, of Natalie’s Cakes and More, with young MARSOC Marine veteran “Nick”

About Author

Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.