Wonkette is reporting that a Trump foreign policy advisor, Joseph Schmitz, along with two crazy Montana legislators, Sen. Bob Keenan (R-Bigfork) and former Sen. Verdell Jackson (R-Kalispell) believes that the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe might be working on a plot to get bomb material to terrorists. This revelation comes out of a lawsuit filed by these three men, seeking to prevent the tribe from acquiring the Kerr Dam in the Flathead Valley in northwestern Montana.
As best I can tell, the three stooges at the center of this story (Schmitz was the lawyer and the state senators the clients, in a federal suit to block the tribe’s acquisition of the dam) got worked up about a relationship that had formed between the Kootenai Tribe and a non-profit group based in Turkey. The relationship was an exchange-oriented arrangement, with the Turks learning about agriculture from the tribe. Schmitz, Jackson and Keenan believed that somehow the tribe would impart information to Turkish terrorists about how to make refine uranium for use in a bomb. There was never any evidence to substantiate any the conspiracy theory. Apparently neither the Defense Department nor State Department nor Energy Department, nor Homeland Security, felt any concern over the Turkish-Tribal bond.
The state senators involved are generally anti-Native American. Keenan, one of the senators, is the Republican who has already filed a bill to repeal Montana’s Medicaid expansion alternative, a popular private-market compromise between Republicans and Governor Steve Bullock that only went into effect in January. He is doing so in part because he is upset that among the 40,000 Montanans receiving benefits, there are many Native Americans. And they were instrumental in passing the new law. He doesn’t like that. And Indians don’t like him.
Verdell Jackson is the subject of a recent report on anti-Indian activity in Montana.