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Politics

LePage Calls Father of Slain Muslim-American Soldier a 'Con Artist'

Gov. Paul LePage told a conservative talk show host that the father of a Muslim-American Army captain killed in combat is a “con artist” for criticizing Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The governor’s comments follow a national controversy involving Trump and Khizr Khan, whose son was awarded the Gold Star for dying while protecting his fellow soldiers in Iraq.

“Then there’s the all mighty powerful ones like Mr. Khan — which is a con artist himself, and he uses the death of his son, who’s an American soldier, which we respect and honor, and he uses that to go after Trump, which I found very distasteful,” LePage told Boston radio host Howie Carr.

LePage’s comments immediately followed the Boston radio host’s attempt to compare an Iranian refugee who immigrated to Maine and later died fighting for ISIS to the Boston Marathon bombers.

The governor’s criticism of Khan was apparently spurred by debunked attempts by conservative activists to implicate Khan, an attorney, with an international law firm’s dealings with the Clinton Foundation.

Trump, whom both Carr and LePage have endorsed, drew widespread condemnation for criticizing Kahn. Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has said Trump’s actions toward Kahn were one of the reasons that she will not back his candidacy.