Chris Hill, commanding officer of the III% Georgia Security Force, speaks to the news media during a 2016 protest against building a mosque in Newton County. CURTIS COMPTON/CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Georgia militia leader promises to protect Trump with “use of force”

The leader of the Georgia Security Force III%, an anti-government group whose heavily armed members have shown up at far-right protests for the last several years, told a Danish news reporter his group is prepared to respond with “with use of force” against Democrats to protect President Donald Trump.

Chris Hill, a former Marine and political provocateur who leads the militia under the name General BloodAgent, gave the interview to Denmark’s TV2 during one of the group’s training exercises at an undisclosed location in southeast Georgia.

Footage shows members of the militia dressed in camouflage and firing assault-style weapons at targets in a wooded area interspersed with soundbites from members expressing their fears that Democrats will take away their weapons.

Hill is more explicit about the group’s desire to protect the president.

“If they win the House and the Senate, they are going to move forward with impeachment for some bogus, bulls—t reason. If they succeed in impeaching President Trump, then we will back President Trump,” Hill told the Danish reporter.

“In what way?” the reporter asked.

“With a use of force if need be,” Hill said.

The comments come as Georgians head to the polls Tuesday. The FBI had no official comment about the interview.

Mark Pitcavage with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism said Hill’s comments are constructed around an extremely unlikely political scenario. Most polls suggest that even if the Democrats take the House, Republican likely will hold onto the Senate.

“It sounds like it was attention-getting talk,” he said.

However, he said Hill’s remarks fit will with militia sentiment generally as supporters attempt to reconcile their support for Trump with their negative feelings about the government he heads.

“Ironically, (the militia movement) was a lot better off under Obama,” he said. “It had a clear antagonist they could lock their hate on.”

Hill told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday the interview with the Danish reporter was conducted over the weekend while his group was training.

Hill also attended a rally Sunday in Macon where Trump stumped for Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.

“It was amazing. Really patriotic. I had chills going down my spine,” he said. “It was the coolest political event I’ve ever attended.”

Hill posted pictures on his Facebook page taken from the tarmac showing Trump exiting Air Force One, as well as pictures taken at the rally.

“I (have) zero confidence in the government. I love Donald Trump, but the government is corrupt,” he said. “I pray for a revolution tomorrow morning.”

Hill said he believes Republicans will retain both the House and the Senate, making his comments to the Danish reporter moot. However, he said he stands by the sentiment.

“If the Democrats win the House and Senate and they carry on this witch hunt to impeach and usurp the office of the presidency, then Chris Hill will defend the president,” he said.

Hill and his group have a reputation in far-right circles for public displays, including providing armed escorts for Confederate flag protesters, including white supremacists, at Stone Mountain. In 2016, Hill encouraged armed militia members to go to Covington to protest a proposed mosque.

Last year, State Sen. Michael Williams, a Republican candidate for governor, posed with the group at an anti-Sharia law rally. A few months later one of the men in the picture, Alex Michael Ramos, participated in the vicious beating of a black man in the chaos following the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. Ramos was convicted of the assault and sentenced to six years in prison in August.

In a similar vein, a group identifying itself as the Black Panther Party posted photos and videos on Facebook showing themselves walking through Atlanta’s West End carrying assault-style weapons and campaign signs for Stacey Abrams. The group called the event an “armed rally against voter suppression.”

“We have a constitutional right to assemble. We got a constitutional right to bear arms,” an unidentified man said on the video. “We want all of our constitutional rights respected.”

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Staff writer Alan Judd contributed to this report.

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