WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — In December, President Donald Trump Tweeted that he supported Susan Collins "100%!" in her reelection bid. But in the days following Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, Collins has become a target of Trump's in rally speeches and interviews for her stance against filling the vacancy prior to the November election.
Collins said if there's a vote on Trump's nominee prior to the election, she'll oppose it. She also said she thinks the decision on the vacancy "should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd.”
"You mention the senators, I think Susan Collins is very badly hurt by her statement [Saturday]," Trump said via phone on Fox & Friends Monday.
Despite the recent, public attacks on Collins, Trump double-downed on his endorsement for Collins on Thursday, telling reporters he hopes she "does well" in her race.
First, he took time to tout his success in Maine before commenting on the reporter's question.
"What I’ve done for Maine is what nobody’s done—I’ve freed up 5,000-square-miles of ocean that was taken away by President Obama," Trump said. "And for the uh, lobster…the people that go out and get us those great lobsters that we all like so much, I freed that whole business up, and the fishermen, too. We freed it up. So, it’s uh…I think I’ve done more for Maine than just about anybody, certainly in many many years."
A recent Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll has Trump's Democratic opponent former Vice President Joe Biden leading in Maine by 12 points.
"So, I’m doing very well in Maine, I don’t know—I haven’t seen polls on Susan, but I hope she does well," Trump said.
It was his first public appearance since he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election should he lose.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said Wednesday at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster."
Regardless of party lines, countless politicians have decried his statements, including Maine Sens. Angus King and Collins.
"This year will be no different," Collins tweeted. "The winner of the presidential election will be sworn in on January 20th."
Collins has not said whether she supports Trump in his reelection campaign.