Bundy family ally and Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) on Saturday night called the armed militiamen who are illegally occupying a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon to offer her support.
Fiore told Oregon Public Broadcasting that she called Ammon Bundy, the de facto leader of the occupation, but wouldn’t give more specifics about the call.
She did tell the radio station that other Republican lawmakers, including Oregon state Rep. Dallas Heard, met with the militiamen in person. Heard didn’t respond to a request for comment from OPB and Fiore didn’t name the other lawmakers who were allegedly present.
“We just need to get elected officials from the sheriff’s office on up protecting citizens,” Fiore told OPB. “I stand for our citizens and they need help from elected officials.”
Fiore has been an ardent supporter of the Bundy family since its patriarch, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, sparked a standoff with federal agents in 2014 after refusing to pay decades of grazing fees. She sponsored legislation in March to bar the federal ownership of land without express consent of the state.
Armed militiamen, including Bundy’s sons, seized an unoccupied federal building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the eastern Oregon desert on Jan. 2. They’ve since been asking for supplies despite law enforcement saying they are free to leave at any time.