OTR Interviews

Embattled Nevada rancher's wife: 'This whole war is about control and unlimited power of the federal government and loss of liberty'

What's next in the 20-year land dispute between a Nevada ranching family and federal authorities?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 16, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: A Nevada rancher is not backing down. His war with the federal government is far from over.


(GRETA VOICE-OVER): Meet Cliven Bundy, cattle rancher and range warrior.

CLIVEN BUNDY, RANCHER: Well, I guess it's a range war. That's all I can say.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bundy is the last cattle rancher in southern Nevada.


VAN SUSTEREN: And now he is at the center of a political firestorm. An American cowboy taking on the federal government. Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, threatening to launch a range war after the government sent snipers and helicopters to seize his cattle.

Meet the government agents saying that Bundy owes more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees and taking drastic measures to get him to pay. Using helicopters to round up cattle, sending in heavily armed agents --


VAN SUSTEREN: -- attack dogs, even using a stun gun on Ammon Bundy, Cliven's son.


VAN SUSTEREN: Meet Sheriff Bundy Gillespie. Bundy supporters calling on him to disarm the federal agents, saying the federal government has gone too far.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sheriff Gillespie needs to go down and tell the bureau of land management to leave.

VAN SUSTEREN: But the sheriff refusing to take action, so hundreds of armed militia men rallying to support the bundies, facing off with the feds at gunpoint and the government backing down.

But Bundy supporters worry it is not over. Some still providing security for the Bundy family.

Meet Buddha Cavalier.

BUDDHA CAVALIER, MILITIA MEMBER: Our goals are safety and security of innocent civilians trying to practice their constitutional right.

VAN SUSTEREN: The standoff getting attention from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. The governor blasting the Bureau of Land Management for creating a "free-speech zone," outside of which free speech is banned.

And Senator Harry Reid also jumping into the fray.

SEN. HARRY REID, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, it's not over. We can't have an American people that violate the law and just walk away from it, so it's not over.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which brings us back to Bundy, telling the Senator to go back to Washington.

CLIVEN BUNDY: Harry, get back there and take care of that work and leave us alone here in Nevada. You have no business here in Clark County, Nevada.


VAN SUSTEREN: And it's not just Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Bundys also hearing from Senator Reid's son, Rory Reid. He is a lawyer and former chairman of the Clark County Commission where the Bundy ranch is located.


RORY REID, & FORMER CHAIRMAN, CLARK COUNTY COMMISSION & SON OF SEN. HARRY REID: We believe in a country in which we are subject to laws and we can't just ignore the laws that we don't like. And I think that clearly state and federal prosecutors look at this more closely, they are going to find that he broke the law and he should be prosecuted.


VAN SUSTEREN: And Cliven Bundy's wife, Carol, joins us.

Nice to see you, Carol.

CAROL BUNDY, WIFE OF CLIVEN BUNDY: Thanks for having me, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Carol, what do you make of Senator Harry Reid's son, Rory? He is basically suggesting that the prosecutor, state and local, take a good look and take a look at prosecuting you and your husband?

CAROL BUNDY: Well, we know the war is not over yet, Greta. But I can tell you and all your listeners that we have abided by all Nevada state law. We have not broken one law from the State of Nevada. And if we are a sovereign state, in the State of Nevada, we don't need to worry because we haven't broken any state laws.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think that Rory Reid is even getting into this? What's his interest in this at all?

CAROL BUNDY: Well, I know there is a lot of rumors on the Internet. I don't have -- I don't have the facts yet -- is that they have business interests on this land where they want to bring in solar plants, Chinese solar plants. None of that that I know of. But I think this whole war is about control and unlimited power of the federal government and loss of liberty for We the People.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Harry Reid says it's not over. Would you agree with him on that?

CAROL BUNDY: Well, imagine they will try to take us back through the court system. It's not over until we stand. And we are standing and we have got America with us. And we are standing for liberty. And I think the American people are standing with us. We are getting phone calls every day from people who say we're ready to come in a minute's notice and stand with you for our country and for our liberty.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Who owns this land? Is it the fed's? The state? Do you have rights to it? Explain this whole history.

CAROL BUNDY: We believe that the state owns this land constitutionally. In the Constitution, there is nowhere where the federal government can own this much land. They claim 89 percent of the land in the state of Nevada. And we believe that we're a sovereign state. And we'll gladly abide by the laws that the state of Nevada has.

VAN SUSTEREN: Am I correct on saying -- I mean, the federal government says you owe about $1.1 or $1 million in grazing fee, that you are willing to pay that to the state? Is that correct? And just not to the feds?

CAROL BUNDY: We will pay what the state asks us to pay. Our rights to be -- we don't claim that we own the actual land. We claim that we own rights to use that land. Our water rights are filed with the state of Nevada. The state of Nevada -- we will pay for the taxes for the rights that we own in the state of Nevada.

VAN SUSTEREN: What does the State of Nevada say with this? I obviously get what the feds are saying about it. What does the state say? For instance, the sheriff, the governor, what are they saying?

CAROL BUNDY: Well, basically, they are saying -- they have let us down as a citizen of their own state. They bow down be to the feds themselves.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does that include the governor? Because, I mean, I know the governor didn't like the method that the feds were using. He didn't like that in the beginning. Is he not on your side on sort of the underlying problem?

CAROL BUNDY: The governor has a power to step in and just say, "Not in my state, boys, the party is over." The sheriff actually has the ultimate power in our county and he could have said, "Not in my state." But, instead, they allowed the BLM to come in and impersonate officers and point guns at our people and try to frighten us. And We the People should not be afraid of our government.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think is the next step? I realize you still have supporters there. The feds have backed off. I mean, you know, as we are watching this, what should we be looking for? What do you think is going to happen next?

CAROL BUNDY: Hey, you know what? This is a wild ride. We are going to take it one day at a time. But I can tell you one thing. This old cow girl doesn't take kindly to getting bucked off.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And on that, that's my out cue on that.

Carol, thank you. And we will be watching.

CAROL BUNDY: Thank you so much for having me on.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.