USA

Trump visits Maine: Protests will greet him, a Republican senator won't

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will visit Maine on Friday afternoon to speak with fishermen and tour a plant that’s manufacturing coronavirus testing supplies even as the state's top Democrats have suggested he's not welcome.

Trump is scheduled to hold a roundtable in Bangor on supporting America's commercial fishermen and then will visit Guilford, where he'll tour and deliver remarks at Puritan Medical Products, which is producing nasal swabs for COVID-19 testing.

Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, told Trump during a conference call with governors earlier this week that she was "very concerned" that the president’s presence in her state "may cause security problems."

"I again ask the President to check his inflammatory rhetoric at the door and abandon the divisive language that sows seeds of distrust among our people," Mills in a statement Thursday. "I hope he will heed this call and appeal to the best in all people and lead us with courage and compassion through this difficult time."

Demonstrators have said they plan to be in Bangor where Trump will arrive, the Associated Press reported.

"It’s not the right time for him to be coming to our state," Marie Follayttar, director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, which is helping organize the demonstration, told the AP.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican facing a difficult reelection race, will not be joining Trump.

"Senator Collins will be in Washington Friday and has several federal, and non-federal, events on her schedule," Collins spokeswoman Annie Clark told NBC News. "She actually just visited Puritan Medical Products in just last month and she is proud of the work they are doing to combat COVID-19."

This comes as Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a moderate Republican with a similar voting record as Collins, slammed Trump Thursday and said she’s "struggling" whether to back the president's reelection in November.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden, the apparent 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, said in a statement on Trump's Maine visit Friday, "No amount of campaign-style excursions can change the fact that Donald Trump has been completely absent during this crisis."

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