Earlier this week, JohnforNM.com sent a tip to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the activism of Javier Benavidez, a left-wing extremist, who was kicked out of President Trump’s May 2016 rally. The complaint spawned from Benavidez’s posted on social media many alarming statements about his plans for President Trump’s rally on Monday, September 16. Some of those statements included the plan to block President Trump’s motorcade, including protesters chaining themselves to light poles on I-25.
In an incoherent Saturday Facebook live video, which showed Benavidez he was obviously nervous, he spoke about a Secret Service agent coming to his house to speak to him. Benavidez was driving in his car with a young child while filming the video.
It cannot be immediately confirmed whether JohnforNM.com’s FBI complaint led to this action by the President’s Secret Service inquiry into Benavidez.
The video began with Benavidez bashing President Trump, calling his presence in Rio Rancho a “traveling circus,” along with repeating the term “white supremacist” to describe Trump. He also parallelled his activism to Martin Luther King’s efforts in the Civil Rights Movement, saying his activists were like “lunch counter protesters of the freedom rider civil rights movement.”
Matthew [Vaugn], a Secret Service agent met Benavidez at his house to discuss Benavidez’ actions in a “voluntary meeting.” The agent asked Benavidez about his posts to make a “mass disruption” during President Trump’s visit, which Benavidez responded in the affirmative to making the post.
When asked what Benavidez’ intentions were, he responded by passing off responsibility, saying he “doesn’t have a plan himself,” and that the objectives of his protests were “to put information out about how you peacefully disrupt an event like this with the minimal amount of people being hurt.”
The agent said, “There were some statements regarding blocking the motorcade routes and streets. Now, from our perspective, and as you very well know, in the past there was an Albuquerque officer on motorcycle who was killed. What we’re trying to avoid is any kind of harm or danger not only to our… officers, the people who are around, people on the routes, people on the motorcade, that go far beyond the President of the United States. We’re looking at a lot of local folks here, you now, from Albuquerque. We just want to ensure those people are not in danger by anything that you’re trying to remote or ask for.”
Benavidez responded, “We’d prefer he didn’t come here in the first place.” He continued, “The intention is to stop President Trump from coming through Albuquerque in the first place. There have been studies that show that violence, especially white supremacist violence increases in every stop he makes, and that’s a concern because this is a very heavily-Latino community with many, many immigrants that we care deeply about, who have been victims of this like in El Paso, and that’s devastating for our communities, and so we prefer that President Trump would skip… run over our city and go to the next. This is not about hurting anybody, this is not about, um…,” and it continued with much of the same.
“What methods are you trying to execute,” asked the agent, to which Benavidez said he looks to try and stop Trump from being able to land and get to the Rio Rancho venue. He continued, trying to say he looks to comply, and further compared his cause to the Civil Rights Movement.
Another unnamed officer asked about the counter-protests. When asked about groups he’s in on social media, he dodged, saying he’s off of Twitter.
Agent Vaughn then continued, saying “I hope you use methods that are common sense, that aren’t going to put themselves or others in danger.”
Benavidez continued, trying to explain his calls for “peaceful” protests and to immediately question the person getting violent.
Hopefully, Benavidez uses his own words and strays away from violence, or his people he calls “fighting for humanity.”
This is a developing story.