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Paul LePage: Taking Down Confederate Statues ‘Just Like’ Removing 9/11 Memorial

This morning, President Donald Trump went on a mini-tweetstorm decrying the removal of monuments to Confederate figures, echoing comments he made earlier in the week when he asked if George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were next as they were slave owners.

Well, one Republican governor and fervent Trump supporter decided to take Trump’s position and turn it up a notch.

In an interview with WGAN-AM today, Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) parroted Trump’s “both sides” comments on the violence in Charlottesville, stating that he condemns both sides and find them “disgusting.” However, when it came to left-wing protesters wanting to take down monuments glorifying the Confederacy, LePage compared them to the “Taliban.”

He also claimed that removing statues of Confederate generals would be akin to getting rid of a 9/11 memorial.

“How can future generations learn if we’re going to erase history? That’s disgusting,” LePage observed. “They should study their history — they don’t even know the history of this country and they are trying to take monuments down.”

The governor added, “Listen, whether we like it or not, this is what our history is. And it’s just — to me, it’s just like going to New York City right now and taking down the monument of those who perished in 9/11. It will come to that.”

LePage is known for shooting from the hip and tossing out controversial and inflammatory rhetoric. He once described “the enemy” as black and Hispanic while talking about drug dealers, adding that you “shoot the enemy.” He also once said that civil rights icon John Lewis should thank white people for civil rights equality.

Listen to the audio above, via WGAN-AM (the relevant part begins around 1:30).

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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