Le MARS — Republican Congressman Steve King says he’ll support President Trump if the president follows through on his threat to close the southern border.

“But I think it was more a message than it was a policy,” King told reporters in Le Mars on Saturday.

King believes Trump’s threat was meant to pressure Mexico to seal its southern border with Guatemala.

“You’re starting to hear that there’s a little more help from the Mexicans on the migration coming out of Central America,” King said.

While King has signaled his support for sealing the U.S. border with Mexico, he said there must be conditions to allow trucks through, so commerce can continue.

“That freight might come through a little faster if you don’t have all those vehicles coming through the border,” King said.

A week ago, King expressed support for the president on Twitter. King’s tweet said Trump “can’t wait for the next election” and must “bring this saga of lawlessness” at the border to a close. In Le Mars on Saturday, King told about 50 people at a town hall gathering that a constituent recently told him to “keep saying what we’re thinking.”

“Last Thursday, 4,117 were interdicted attempting to cross the border and the Border Patrol has testified under oath in the past that they only interdict perhaps 25% of those who try, so you could be not 4,000 a day, but 16,000 a day and I’d remind you that Santa Ana’s army was about 6,500.”

About 20 people gathered outside King’s town hall in Le Mars for a protest organized by local Democrats. A few Republicans have stepped forward to say they’ll run against King in the 2020 GOP Primary in Iowa’s fourth congressional district. State Senator Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, announced last week that he had raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for his campaign against King.