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Nevada, Oregon State Reps Meet With Armed Occupiers


State Rep. Michele Fiore, a Nevada Republican, in 2013. Fiore called Ammon Bundy, one of the leaders of the armed occupation of the Malheur refuge in Burns, Saturday night. Fiore has long been an ally of the Bundy family.

State Rep. Michele Fiore, a Nevada Republican, in 2013. Fiore called Ammon Bundy, one of the leaders of the armed occupation of the Malheur refuge in Burns, Saturday night. Fiore has long been an ally of the Bundy family.

Cathleen Allison/AP

Nevada state Rep. Michele Fiore, a Republican, tells OPB she called Ammon Bundy Saturday night.

Fiore has long been an ally of the Bundy family. The representative sponsored land transfer legislation known as the ‘Bundy Bill’ in March last year, and directed profanity at another colleague on the floor of the Nevada legislature while defending it.

“Everyone knows I’m a supporter of the Bundy family,” Fiore said. “Our relationship is pretty well documented.”

According to Fiore, Oregon Rep. Dallas Heard, a Roseburg Republican, met in person with the militant leaders.

“It’s refreshing to see a representative like Dallas Heard care and lean on the side of citizens, versus our federal government,” said Fiore.

Fiore confirmed GOP representatives from other states also attended, but she declined to name them.

Heard was not immediately available for comment.

“It’s not an open meeting, and I’m not talking about it at this time,” Fiore said.

Multiple law enforcement officers close to the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told OPB they warned lawmakers not to meet with the armed group of men who are illegally occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, as there is concern it could undermine efforts to bring the event to a peaceful conclusion.

“Still hoping it ends without violence,” one law enforcement source told OPB.

The militants have seen a rise in numbers at the camp, although it’s unclear how many people are now staying at the site.

One of the Bundys’ closest allies, LaVoy Finicum, said the officials who met with the camp have “great integrity.”

“They came and they spoke with the FBI, and the sheriff, and the judge, before they came here,” Finicum said. “And from their own lips, they said great pressure was put on them not to come here, not to have this dialogue with us. So shame on whoever did that.”

While Fiore refused to talk about specifics of the meeting, she did call on other elected officials to aid the militants’ cause.

“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.”

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