Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on Monday that he was unaware of a militia taking over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon over the weekend, the Des Moines Register reported.
The militia, led in part by two of Cliven Bundy’s sons, has earned national headlines since it took over the refuge on Saturday, and numerous presidential candidates weighed in on the standoff on Monday.
But in a conversation with a Des Moines Register reporter after a campaign event in Iowa, Kasich repeatedly indicated that he knew nothing about the situation.
When first asked, Kasich told the Des Moines Register, “What? I haven’t heard about it.”
The reporter asked again about the individuals who took over federal land.
“No, I haven’t heard about this. When did this come out?” Kasich asked in response.
After the reporter told him that it happened over the weekend, Kasich responded, “Yeah, I am not familiar with it. OK. I’ve got to get out of here.”
A few hours later, Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Kasich, emailed the Des Moines Register to explain that the governor was aware of the militia.
“He’s aware of the issue. This was an error in staff briefing,” Nichols said.