- Associated Press - Friday, July 7, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine GOP Gov. Paul LePage didn’t escape the skirmish over whether he really intended to leave the state during a government shutdown without digging the hole a little deeper.

LePage acknowledged Thursday that he left a phone message saying he was going to leave the state for “about 10 days.” He said it was a ruse to ensure lawmakers called him back.

But he also repeated the claim about leaving the state when two Republican Senate negotiators called him back.

LePage’s office called the reports “fake news.” LePage originally responded that he intended to say that his pen was going on vacation, meaning he wouldn’t sign a budget without changes.

LePage also blamed reporters, calling the media “vile,” ”inaccurate” and “useless.”

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