December 09, 2018
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Collins ‘appalled’ by Trump’s tweet, says to delay Kavanaugh vote to let accuser testify

Patrick Whittle | AP
Patrick Whittle | AP
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), speaks to the media on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Portland, Maine. Collins said she's "appalled" by President Donald Trump's tweet criticizing Christine Blasey, accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

PORTLAND, Maine — Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she’s “appalled” by President Donald Trump’s tweet criticizing his Supreme Court nominee’s accuser.

Collins also said Friday in Portland that it’s reasonable for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote to be delayed to allow Christine Blasey Ford to testify Wednesday or Thursday. She said it’s important for the Judiciary Committee to “make it as comfortable as possible.”

[Kavanaugh accuser won’t testify Monday but open to doing so later next week]

Kavanaugh’s nomination has been thrown into doubt by Ford’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her when they were teens. He denies the allegations.

On Friday, Trump tweeted that if the incident was as “bad” as Ford says, then she or her parents should’ve contacted the police. Ford told The Washington Post last week that she did not tell anyone about the incident, which she says happened in the 1980s, until 2012, when she brought it up in therapy.

“We know that allegations of sexual assault — and I’m not saying that’s what’s happening in this case — but we know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most underreported crimes that exist,” Collins told WMTW News 8. “So I thought the president’s tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong.”

[Kavanaugh, accuser both willing to testify to Senate panel]

Collins, a swing vote on the nomination, said the California college professor needs to testify so senators can assess her credibility.

Maine’s senior senator spoke to reporters in Portland Friday morning at an event celebrating the expansion of a senior living facility, according to the Portland Press Herald. Maine Public reported Friday that about 30 demonstrators greeted Collins in Portland, urging the senator to vote against Kavanaugh.

Collins said critics have a right to make their case, but has in the past said her office has received threatening and profane messages about the Kavanaugh case, calling those messages inappropriate and offensive.

BDN editor Seth Koenig and writer Jake Bleiberg contributed to this report.

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