US President Donald Trump on Friday announced former Maine Governor Paul LePage, one of the nation's most controversial governors during his tenure, would head up his newly established Seafood Trade Task Force.
Trump announced the appointment at a round table session in Guilford, Maine, where he met with lobstermen, seafood processing and fishing company executives and other officials primarily to set the stage for his executive order overturning an Obama-era underwater monument.
LePage, who has a long history of making racially charged comments about black Americans, Hispanic Americans and immigrants, encouraging racial profiling and advocating violence against political opponents, will head up the new Seafood Trade Task Force, which Trump announced last month as part of an effort to boost the domestic seafood industry by among other things streamlining aquaculture development and "cutting red tape" on the fisheries sector.
The task force will include the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture and Homeland Security; the director of Office of Management and Budget, the administrator of NOAA, the the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and other top administration officials.
LePage's appointment comes amid widespread national protests against violent and sometimes deadly police tactics that have targeted the black community.