Donald Trump says that he could boot the militia that has taken over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon with a phone call to the group’s leader and a show of strength.
“I think what I’d do, as president, is I would make a phone call to whoever, to the group,” Trump said in an interview with the New York Times editorial board published in part on Thursday.
He later added that he would invite the militia’s leader to the White House for a meeting to discuss the group’s grievances.
“I’d talk to the leader. I would talk to him and I would say, ‘You gotta get out — come see me, but you gotta get out,'” Trump said.
“You cannot let people take over federal property,” he continued. “You can’t, because once you do that, you don’t have a government anymore. I think, frankly, they’ve been there too long.”
Trump said that he would not necessarily resort to military action in order to remove the militia from the Oregon refuge, but he told the Times that “at a certain point you have to do something and you have to be firm and you have to be strong, you have to be a government.”
The Republican presidential candidate had previously told The Hill that the militia needed to stand down.