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DeWine Activating Ohio National Guard For Possible Protests

Andy Chow
Ohio National Guard staged during demonstrations protesting the killing of George Floyd, May 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is activating 580 members of the Ohio National Guard to be ready for potential violent protests leading up to inauguration. Reports say armed supporters of President Donald Trump are planning for more protests in Washington, D.C. and even Ohio.

DeWine says the possibility of more violent protests following the deadly pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is something every American should be worried about.

He says his office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Statehouse leaders, and the Ohio National Guard are working to prepare possible demonstrations in the coming weeks.

"This is a disturbing thing. We have people who, for whatever reason, want to commit violence and we cannot allow that and we are not going to allow that," says DeWine.

Watch: Gov. Mike DeWine on preparing for potential violent protests

The governor added that he's ready to activate more members of the national guard if requested to do so by city mayors. About 200 members of the initial activation will be sent to Washington, D.C.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is calling on Trump to address the nation to prevent further violence.

"If our nation experiences additional violence and destruction at the hands of his supporters in Washington DC and state capitols around the country, and he does not directly and unambiguously speak out now when threats are known, he will bear responsibility," Portman said in a written statement.

Democrats have accused Portman, DeWine and other Republicans of enabling Trump by defending him during his presidency.

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