UPDATE: Congressman Higgins now says he will not meet with NFAC leader during Saturday’s protest

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) –UPDATE: Congressman Clay Higgins’ office released a statement Thursday claiming he will now not be meeting with John Jay Fitzgerald Johnson on Saturday, claiming the NFAC leader “burned the olive branch.”

Here are the congressman’s latest words:

“Media reports that I’ve issued an apology are false. In what was intended as a private communication, I extended a diplomatic gesture to Mr. Johnson and offered to meet with him in person. I was respectful and kind, humble, and unassuming. I offered a table of discussion. That’s what leaders do. Nowhere in that conversation did I apologize, nor do I have any intention to do so. I have nothing to apologize for. When Mr. Johnson published our conversation and mischaracterized its content, he violated a basic tenet of diplomatic trust. Mr. Johnson burned the olive branch. There will be no meeting. There will be no apology. It’s disappointing that media outlets would ignore my clearly established stance by repeating and headlining a summary lie. Secretly recording a private diplomatic outreach and publishing same, accompanied by a blatantly false summary, are not the actions of a man actually interested in advancing the cause of We, the People. That’s what Mr. Johnson did. I reached out in the interest of peace and reason. I offered a bridge of man to man communication. He burned that bridge.”

“As a Constitutionalist, I recognize Mr. Johnson’s group’s right to peaceably assemble. I have been unwavering in my support for 1st Amendment rights, and my record for support of 2nd Amendment freedoms is known nationwide. I do not believe Mr. Johnson’s assembly carries any violent intent. However, our stance remains clear. Lima Charlie. Lafayette is solid. Peaceful assembly will be allowed, as it should be. Violence, on the other hand, will not be tolerated.”

ORIGINAL: Congressman Clay Higgins has issued an apology to Not F***** Around Coalition. In a 20 minute recorded phone call between the District 3 Louisiana congressman and the leader of the militia, Higgins stated he will attend their formation this Saturday in Downtown Lafayette, specifically, Parc Sans Souci.

The commander of the NFAC, John Jay Fitzgerald Johnson, stated one of the reasons his men are coming is to get a public apology from Congressman Higgins, and the House representative promised that Tuesday night.

“The Lord put it on my heart to offer to meet with you anywhere in any way including in my home Saturday,” Higgins told Johnson during a phone call.

Watching the recording of their phone call, the look of shock is clearly visible on the NFAC leader Grand Master Jay’s face when U.S. Representative Clay Higgins asked to reconcile.

“The fact that the congressman would go so far as to invite me to his home after I’ve examined his record, after I’ve spoken with multiple people in Louisiana and in that community, it caught me off guard,” Johnson said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

During the phone call, Higgins admitted his inciting post was made ignorantly, stating he believed a man from Houston who does not affiliate the NFAC was making a threat inside a viral YouTube video.

Higgins told Johnson, “Your organization was initially portrayed as violent, and there was a lot of confusion about who was representative of your organization. I readily admit that I didn’t get it. I wasn’t tuned in.”

Higgins post on September 1, warned an armed presence would be a “one way ticket” and he’d “drop any 10” where they stand, but after researching the group, he’s promised to meet them completely unarmed, even if Johnson chose to bring a weapon into his home.

Higgins told Johnson, “You convey some things that are very impressive to me, just as a man, regarding your calm, your poised approach to this very volatile situation. Not just Lafayette, our nation needs healing right now.”

Jay said he sees Higgin’s “olive branch” as power respecting black power, the right to bear arms, and a higher power greater than the both of them.

“This is the first time in the history that I can find that a sitting congressman has called a member of an armed black militia to apologize for threatening to kill them for exercising their constitutional rights,” Johnson said. “We’ll only see if he makes good on that this Saturday.”

Both men as well as dozens others armed in formation are expected Saturday in Parc Sans Souci at 4 P.M. Voter registration and other activities begin at 11 P.M.

Lafayette Parish officials answered many questions at Wednesday’s media briefing on security preparations for Saturday’s Parc Sans Souci protest You can learn more here.

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