Who Is Couy Griffin? Founder of Cowboys for Trump Who Turned On Ex-President at QAnon Event

Couy Griffin, the founder of the Cowboys for Trump group, appeared to turn on the former president during a QAnon event in Las Vegas. After years of unwavering support, Griffin suggested he was disappointed by what he saw as Trump's failure to help those arrested in connection to the January 6 attack.

Griffin, a county commissioner in southern New Mexico, is one of hundreds of people who have been charged over the attack at the Capitol. Donald Trump supporters attempted to stop the certification of Joe Biden's election victory citing baseless voter fraud claims.

During his appearance at the For God and Country Patriot Double Down conference, Griffin hit out at Trump for failing to carry out his 2016 election promise to imprison Hillary Clinton.

"We supported President Trump because of his fight for justice as well, and for four years we cried 'Lock her up. Lock her up. Lock her up,'" Griffin said.

"What did the president tell us? 'If I was in charge of the law, you'd [Clinton] be in jail.'

"OK, Mr. President, you were in charge of the law for four years. At the end of your four-year time, the only ones that were locked up were men like me, and others like me, that have stood by the president the strongest."

The comments appear to be an indicator that Trump is losing the support of an ally who has previously met with him at the White House. Griffin's remarks also appeared during a QAnon event attended by supporters who have already seen a number of prophecies they believe Trump would carry out fail to come to fruition.

Griffin's frustration with Trump failing to help Capitol riot suspects came as he faces charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restrictive building in relation to the disorder on January 6.

Griffin uploaded a video on social media where he was seen attempting to lead a crowd of rioters in prayer on an outdoor terrace of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. According to an affidavit, Griffin posted a video to the Cowboys for Trump's now-deleted Facebook page in which he stated that he "climbed up on the top of the Capitol building and... had a first row seat."

A memo released by his lawyers arguing for a pretrial release revealed Griffin told the FBI that he believed he "was led by God to lead prayer over the crowd," on January 6 as his friend mentioned a vision of people on one knee giving their lives to Jesus Christ.

In August, federal prosecutors offered Griffin a plea deal in the hope of resolving his January 6 misdemeanor charges.

Griffin's association with Trump goes as far back as 2019 when he formed Cowboys for Trump, who held horseback parades across the country in support for the then-president.

In February 2019, Trump called Griffin after he organized an eight-day, 170-mile trek from Maryland to Washington with his Cowboys for Trump group. Griffin said he told the president that the Cowboys for Trump would be back in Washington that summer.

"He said, 'Couy, that sounds amazing... If you will do that, then whenever you get here, there are 20 acres on the South Lawn and the gate will be open to you at the White House where you can ride your horses right in,'" Griffin told the Alamogordo Daily News. "Then he jokingly said that he might have to get on my horse whenever I get there."

In February 2020, Griffin posed for pictures with Trump in the Oval Office and shared the photos on the Cowboys for Trump Facebook page.

"These photos are not being used for 'political purposes,'" Griffin wrote on Facebook while sharing the photos.

"I am simply posting these pictures of me and a friend. The friend you may recognize. Please don't copy and paste these photos for 'political purposes.' If you do, snowflakes all across the land will begin to melt. But I post them only for personal reasons to show a friendship with a great man and leader!!"

In May 2020, Trump retweeted a video in which Griffin stated "The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat" with the message: "Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!"

Speaking to The Daily Beast, Griffin insisted his rhetoric in the message tweeted by Trump was not calling for violence but only meant Democrats who were dead in "the political sense."

However, he added Democratic officials who imposed strict COVID-19 lockdowns should be guilty of treason and executed.

"You get to pick your poison: You either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope," Griffin said.

In September 2021, Griffin survived attempts to recall him from office after a petition demanding he be removed as county commissioner in Otero County's District 2 failed to gather enough signatures.

Under New Mexico state law, the number of required signatures for such a petition needs to be at least one-third of participation in the previous election.

Griffin told The Associated Press that he is more interested in running for sheriff in his native Catron County or governor of New Mexico one day rather than run for reelection in 2022.

 Cowboys for Trump couy griffin
Otero County Commission Chairman and Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin rides his horse on 5th avenue on May 1, 2020 in New York City. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images