WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — On Friday, President Donald Trump called out Sen. Susan Collins on Twitter over her stance on not supporting his Supreme Court nominee, calling it a “nasty rumor,” despite Collins making her position clear for weeks.
In a tweet Friday morning, Trump said: “There is a nasty rumor out there that @SenatorCollins of Maine will not be supporting our great United States Supreme Court Nominee. Well, she didn’t support Healthcare or my opening up 5000 square miles of Ocean to Maine, so why should this be any different. Not worth the work!”
In response to the public attack, Collins campaign Communications Director Annie Clark told NEWS CENTER Maine, "Senator Collins works with this President—like she does with all Presidents—when she thinks he's right, and she opposes him when she thinks he's wrong. It's what she's always done, and it's what she'll continue to do."
Since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Washington politicians have taken stances on what they'll do when it comes time to vote on a nominee to fill her seat. Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins had said if there's a vote prior to the election, she'll oppose it.
A little less than a month later, the time to vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, has been set following a week-long hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The panel set the vote to recommend Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate for Oct. 22, with a final vote expected by the end of the month.
Democrats and a handful of Republicans have opposed pushing a nominee through before the election. Collins, who is considered a swing vote in many Senate-vote situations for her moderate-leaning views, said she doesn't believe the Senate should vote on the nominee before the election.
"In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd," Collins said.
Her initial statement stopped short of saying how she would vote if President Donald Trump's nominee goes to a vote on the Senate floor but clarified a few days later to reporters on the Hill.
“I made it very clear, yes, that I did not think there should be a vote prior to the election. And if there is one, I would oppose the nominee not because I might not support that nominee under normal circumstances, but we're simply too close to the election," Collins told reporters.
"And in the interest of being fair to the American people, and consistent, since it was, with the Garland nomination that the decision was made not to proceed, a decision that I disagreed with, but my position did not prevail. I now think we need to play by the same set of rules," Collins said.
The Senatorial debate Thursday night touched the candidates’ opinions on the Supreme Court nominee. Collins again said she didn’t think it was fair to have a vote prior to the election.
This isn't the first time Trump has taken aim at Collins in recent weeks. Trump called her out three times in 48 hours following her initial statement in September after Ginsburg’s death.
At a rally in North Carolina, Trump said, "There have been 29 times a vacancy opened during an election year or prior to an inauguration. 29 times! That's a lot. Every single time, the sitting President made a nomination... Nobody said, 'Oh let's not fill the seat!' We won the election! Now, we have some senators that, oh well, you know, forget it. I won't say it... I won't say it, Susan! I won't say it, Susan."
And a few days later during a Fox & Friends interview via phone, he said, "You mention the senators, I think Susan Collins is very badly hurt by her statement yesterday."
Despite the attacks, Trump had reaffirmed his support of Collins, telling reporters he hopes she "does well" in her race.
"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.
Collins has not said whether she supports Trump in his reelection campaign.
Collins did not immediately respond for comment.