PORTLAND, Maine — The embattled Democratic lawmaker who was kicked off two Legislative committees for online comments implying he’d hurt President Donald Trump, offered a lengthy apology from the floor of the Maine House of Representatives Thursday.
Last week, Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland was embroiled in controversy over a Facebook post in which he wrote that Trump is likely to serve an abbreviated term in office “especially if I ever get within 10 feet of that pussy.”
The comments were reported by both national and state media, and Hamann has been raked over the coals by Democrats and Republicans alike. On Thursday, the 36-year-old lawmaker told his colleagues in the House that he was there “to own each and every word” of the post.
“There is no excuse for using such vulgar and disrespectful language and I deeply regret not only what I said but how I said it,” said Hamann, according to a video published by WCSH 6 television.
In the post, Hamann called the president a “joke,” a “rapist” and a criminal, profanely taunted Trump’s supporters and seethed against Republicans for having obstructed President Barack Obama’s agenda.
The three-term representive said the statements were written on a childhood friend’s Facebook wall and were meant as to push back against similar foul language used by that friend, who he did not name.
“I sounded like a jerk,” Hamann said. “That was my point. It was satire.”
The comments were roundly condemned by politicians including the heads of Maine’s Republican and Democratic parties, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, D-Freeport.
Hamann said that friends took reports of his statements seriously enough that they reach out and asked if he was struggling with a psychological issue or substance abuse. The U.S. Secret Service also opened an investigation into Hamann’s statements.
“I will not claim it was the result of a drinking problem or insist I have a screw loose to gain sympathy,” said Hamann. “I intend to do the work to rebuild relationships that may have been damaged and reassure folks that I am not someone who would speak like that in a literal sense.”
Last Friday, Speaker Gideon removed Hamann from his seats on the Health and Human Services Committee and the Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee. She filled the resulting openings with other Democrats, maintaining the partisan balance of the committees.