GOP Sen. Josh Hawley wrote a column in defense of militia members in the wake of Oklahoma City bombing when he was 15

GOP Sen. Josh Hawley wrote a column in defense of militia members in the wake of Oklahoma City bombing when he was 15
Sen. Josh Hawley makes a statement on October 22, 2020, in Washington, DC.Samuel Corum/Getty Images
  • Sen. Josh Hawley wrote a column defending militia members when he was 15 years old.
  • The column was published in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
  • Hawley supported Trump's voter-fraud claims after the 2020 presidential election.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, who backed former President Donald Trump's voter-fraud claims following the 2020 election, defended militia members in a column after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, when he was 15 years old, The Kansas City Star reported.

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.
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"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."

He added: "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."

Also in the column, Hawley said Mark Fuhrman, the Los Angeles police detective whose use of racial slurs became known during OJ Simpson's trial, was being unfairly depicted as a racist.
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"In this politically correct society, derogatory labels such as 'racist' are widely misused, and our ability to have open debate is eroding," he wrote.

In the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, which left five people dead, there have been calls for Hawley to resign over his support of Trump's voter-fraud claims. Seven Democratic senators have called for an investigation into whether Hawley's and Sen. Ted Cruz's objections to the Electoral College vote contributed to the violence.
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Hawley condemned the violence at the Capitol but called the senators' complaint "a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge."

On Sunday, he suggested in a column for the New York Post that he and other Republicans had been victims of "cancel culture" and asked supporters to "stand up for the right of every American to be heard."

Hawley did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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The headline of this story has been updated to clarify that Hawley defended militia members, not specifically the Oklahoma City bomber.

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