AUGUSTA — A Democratic state legislator from South Portland faced sharp criticism Wednesday after suggesting in a Facebook rant that he would harm President Trump.

Maine Republicans were furious over the post by Rep. Scott M. Hamann and called on House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, to take action against him. Some, including Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage, said Hamann should resign.

He has removed the post from his Facebook page, but the Maine Republican Party made a copy before he did so. In the closing sentence, Hamann writes, “Trump is a half term president, at most, especially if I ever get within 10 feet of that (vulgar term).”

Hamann, who is serving his third term in the Legislature, also lashed out at Trump’s supporters and made reference to the president’s controversial statements about women and Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war survivor who was held in Vietnam.

“He’s an admitted rapist,” Hamann wrote of the president. “Would you be okay with leaving him alone in a room with your wife?”

Demi Kouzounas, chairwoman of the Maine Republican Party, issued a statement calling Hamann “unhinged and dangerous.”

“Words cannot even begin to describe the level of revulsion I feel after reading Rep. Scott Hamann’s recent tirade that has come to light,” Kouzounas said in a prepared statement. “Perhaps the most alarming aspect of this tirade is an implied death threat against our president.”

In a prepared statement Wednesday, Hamann said he regretted the post.

“I regret my impulsive decision to post something aggressively sarcastic and inappropriate in a Facebook exchange with a childhood friend,” Hamann said. “While the tone of the post was born out of frustration with the vile language currently surrounding politics, I should not have responded with the same language. This is not language I typically use, it does not reflect my personal values, and while misguided, it was intended to make a visceral point about the devolving political discourse in America.”

Gideon’s spokeswoman, Mary-Erin Casale, said Gideon was on vacation and unavailable for comment Wednesday.

“The Maine Democratic Party does not condone this kind of discourse – period,” Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett said in a prepared statement. “Rep. Hamann’s comments were unacceptable and do not represent our values as a party. He has rightly apologized for them and removed the post.”

Dave Watson, the resident agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service field office in Portland, said his agency had been made aware of Hamann’s comments. Watson said his office also was receiving phone calls from the general public about the post.

“We are looking into it, but as to whether an investigation has been opened, I can’t comment on that,” Watson said. “But we have been getting messages.”

This is not the first time that a Maine lawmaker has found himself on the hot seat for an offensive social media post. In March 2015, former state Sen. Mike Willette, a Presque Isle Republican, was forced to resign the chairmanship of the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee after he posted derogatory remarks about then-President Barack Obama and Muslims on Facebook.

Willette posted an item that criticized Obama’s handling of the Islamic State and said that Obama would deal with the terrorist group at “the family reunion.” Previous posts by Willette included comments and memes about Muslims and immigrants that have been criticized as racist, bigoted and xenophobic.

Willette publicly apologized for the posts during a speech on the Senate floor before he resigned his chairmanship.

Scott Thistle can be contacted at 791-6330 or at:

sthistle@pressherald.com

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