PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine newspaper is reporting that Republican Gov. Paul LePage and his staff and security spent more than $35,000 on luxury hotels, restaurants and travel to Washington, D.C. over a three-month period.

The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/2umjtRQ ) reports the expenses occurred last spring when LePage was attending meetings or seeking audience with members of Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration.

The paper reports taxpayers paid for most of the travels. LePage’s office tells the paper some expenses were reimbursed by outside groups such as the Republican Governors Association.

The Press Herald reports one trip included a four-night stay at the Trump International Hotel.

LePage spokesman Peter Steele says the governor was in Washington to advocate for Maine interests. He also says the rates at the Trump Hotel were “very competitive.”

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