BANGOR – For the first time in four years, Donald Trump is back in Maine.
The president and Air Force One touched down in Bangor at 2:00 p.m. Friday.
President Trump was then greeted by former Republican Governor Paul LePage, who walked with the president into an Army National Guard Building.
There, the two participated in a round-table discussion focused on commercial fishing.
Among those in attendance were Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro, and other various commercial fishing representatives, according to a White House official.
At that meeting, the president signed an order to allow commercial fishing within the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts off the New England coast. That area had been designated as the first and only national marine monument in 2016 by the Obama Administration.
According to the Associated Press, the conservation area comprises 5,000 square miles east of Cape Cod that contains vulnerable species of marine life such as endangered right whales and fragile deep sea corals.
“I’m signing a proclamation to reverse that injustice, to reverse that order from a previous administration,” President Trump said.
David Sullivan, a local lobster fisherman and union representative who wasn’t at the meeting, said the proclamation doesn’t do much to help Maine lobstermen because they don’t fish that area.
Sullivan said he wants the president and other lawmakers to focus on regulations aimed at protecting right whales, rules the lobstermen say are harmful to Mainers.
“Coming after Maine fishermen isn’t going to save a single right whale, because we don’t kill right whales here in Maine,” Sullivan said. “We were hoping that was going to be the message, they started to talk about it a little bit, they didn’t get to stay on that topic very long, they moved right off it.”
Other focuses of the president’s meeting included how coronavirus has impacted Maine, with the president throwing jabs at Maine Governor Janet Mills for not reopening the state.
“You have a governor that doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Trump said. “She’s like a dictator.”
In a statement before President Trump’s visit, Governor Mills urged the president to “check his inflammatory rhetoric at the door and abandon divisive language that sows seeds of distrust” among people.
In a statement late Friday regarding the president’s visit, Mills said “What Maine people heard today was more of the same incendiary rhetoric and insults he uses to try to divide us and to stoke tension and fear.”