LePage: Maine AG ‘speaks for herself’ on Trump’s immigration order

Gov. Paul LePage, right, stands alongside Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, and House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, during the Electoral College in December.

Gov. Paul LePage stood by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, tweeting that Maine Attorney General Janet Mills “speaks for herself” in opposing Trump’s embattled executive order pausing immigration from seven Muslim countries.

It’s the Republican governor’s first public statement in support of the ban, but his stance is no surprise: He endorsed Trump ahead of most other party notables in last year’s primaries and has long opposed settling refugees from the Middle East in Maine.

LePage has also often feuded with Mills, who joined a legal brief on Monday alongside 15 other Democratic attorneys general urging a federal appeals court to uphold a stay against Trump’s order, saying it harms state economies and educational institutions.

On Tuesday, LePage tweeted, “AG Mills speaks for herself on immigration,” continuing to say he fully supports Trump’s action, which would temporarily suspend immigration from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, but it was held up after a ruling last week in Washington.

However, Maine law is clear that the attorney general — and not the governor — speaks for the state on legal issues. On his own behalf, LePage has signed onto several Republican lawsuits, including one in Virginia on transgender rights.

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.