DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds declined Tuesday to say whether there were circumstances under which she would seek President Donald Trump’s offer of military help to quell protests.
Reynolds, a Republican and supporter of Trump, said at a news conference that she relies on the advice of her public safety commissioner and other officials to ensure they have the ability to respond to protests.
“They have a lot of resources at hand that they’ve been able to mobilize and disperse to different areas of the state depending on what the need is. Part of that response potentially does include the National Guard,” she said.
Reynolds said the soldiers haven’t been needed but could be quickly deployed.
State and local police have stood guard outside the state Capitol on Saturday night and Monday night, and officers have used tear gas, pepper spray and other equipment to disperse crowds.
Reynolds declined to directly answer questions about Trump’s use of police to remove peaceful protesters Monday near the White House and his call for governors to take a similar approach in dealing with demonstrators.
“I’m focused on Iowa. I need to deal with what’s happening in my state. I need to be proactive. I need to be prepared. I need to listen to the expertise. We need to make sure that we’re facilitating that dialogue and the communication that’s taking place. That’s what I’m focused on,” Reynolds said.
Iowa Commissioner of Public Safety Stephan Bayens said making a decision to use tear gas and physically remove protesters is “not a science, it’s an art.”
While several states have been asked to provide National Guard support to Washington, there hasn’t been a request from the Iowa National Guard, said Lt. Col. Michael Wunn, the Iowa Guard spokesman.