Hogan, Bowser continue disagreement over Maryland National Guard in D.C.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser continued to disagree Thursday over the presence of Maryland National Guard troops in the nation’s capital.

Speaking to reporters, Bowser said she opposed the deployment of out-of-state Guard units in Washington, which were requested by the federal government.


“We want troops from out of state out of Washington, D.C.,” the Democratic mayor said.

Hogan was among several governors who agreed to send troops to Washington, and 120 Guard members from Maryland are now serving there.


Hogan has said he fielded a call from U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and notified Bowser’s office. He said Bowser offered no objection.

Bowser offered a different take: “I have not talked to Governor Hogan.”

Bowser requested some assistance from the District of Columbia National Guard, but not from other states. As mayor, she does not have authority over Guard troops as governors do.

“I can’t approve his mission,” she said.

Mike Ricci, a spokesman for the Republican governor, said in a statement Thursday: “While the Mayor does not have the authority to approve or reject the mission, we conferred with her office prior to moving forward.”

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine pressed Donald Trump’s administration and several state governments Thursday to justify their decision to send troops to the nation’s capital.

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He also said, in letters sent Thursday to Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, that he was “reviewing the legality of aspects of the federal government’s response to the George Floyd protests in the city.”

Racine asked state authorities to explain the legal authority for the deployments, the troops’ mission and whether they have been given the authority to make arrests.


Hogan made it a point Wednesday to stress that the Maryland National Guard members were assigned to guard monuments on the National Mall and were not involved in federal law enforcement’s violent clashes with protesters.

The ACLU of Maryland has criticized Hogan for sending the Maryland National Guard after Bowser said she didn’t want out-of-state guardsmen.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, declined to send Virginia National Guard members to the District.

About 1,300 Maryland National Guard members have been serving as part of the state’s coronavirus response, performing tasks such as distributing free meals, helping run testing sites and distributing tests to nursing homes. They have not been deployed in relation to largely peaceful protests in Baltimore and elsewhere around the state, though Guard trucks have been used to transport city police officers.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.