24 times Susan Collins has been 'disappointed' by Donald Trump

The Republican senator from Maine voted to acquit Trump during his impeachment trial and backed most of his judges.

Sen.  Susan Collins (R-ME) has supported many of the Trump administration's  actions with her votes. Meanwhile, at least 24 times she has indicated  her displeasure with Donald Trump's behavior in tweets and critical  statements to the press.

Collins published an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2016 explaining why she was not going to vote for Trump for president,  objecting to his racist attacks on a judge of Mexican American heritage,  his mocking of people with disabilities, and his anti-Muslim attack on  the parents of a U.S. Army captain who had been killed in Iraq.

But since Trump took office, she has voted with him more than two-thirds of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight's tracker. She voted to give lifetime appointments to the vast majority of Trump's 200 judicial appointees, including Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and  Brett Kavanaugh. She also backed the confirmation of Cabinet appointees  such as Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

She voted to acquit Trump in February during his impeachment trial, suggesting that he had learned a "pretty big lesson" and "would be more cautious in the future." She later walked back that assessment, admitting it was "more aspirational on my part."

Collins' office did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

A review of Collins' public statements finds at least 24 instances of  her expressing concern, dismay, or disagreement with Trump.

  1. June 26, 2020: Collins issued a statement criticizing the Trump administration's attempt to get the Supreme Court  to strike down Obamacare in its entirety. "The Administration’s  decision to submit this new brief is the wrong policy at the worst  possible time as our nation is in the midst of a pandemic," she wrote.  "The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land, and it is the  Department of Justice's duty to defend it."
  2. June 14, 2020: Collins tweeted her objection to the Trump administration's latest attack on LGBTQ people, a rule rolling back health care protections for the  transgender community. "The Trump Administration‘s decision to eliminate  protections for transgender patients is simply wrong. I'll work to  overturn this discriminatory policy," Collins said.
  3. June 9, 2020: Collins objected to Trump's attempt  to lift fishing restrictions in waters off the New England coast. Noting  other problems facing Maine's fishing industry, Collins said in a statement:  "The federal government should direct its focus to resolving these  challenges rather than reopening the debate over this national marine  monument."
  4. June 2, 2020: Collins criticized Trump's decision to have protesters forcibly removed from Lafayette  Square for a photo opportunity. "To me, at a time like this, the  president ought to be trying to calm the nation, pledge to right  historic wrongs and be a steady influence. I don't think he was last  night," she told reporters. "It was painful to watch peaceful protesters  be subjected to tear gas in order for the president to go across the  street to a church that I believe he's attended only once."
  5. May 16, 2020: Collins tweeted her objection to Donald Trump's removal of State Department inspector general Steve Linick, who was reportedly investigating ethical violations by Pompeo. Noting her work on a 2008 law reforming  the inspectors general system, she wrote, "The President has not  provided the kind of justification for the removal of IG Linick required  by this law."
  6. April 14, 2020: Collins criticized Trump's handling  of the coronavirus pandemic. "It's been very uneven. There are times  when I think his message has been spot on and he has really deferred to  the public health officials who have been with him at these press  conferences," she told Politico.  "And then there are times when I think he's been off message and has  brought up extraneous issues. So I think it's been mixed."
  7. April 6, 2020: Collins criticized Trump's removal  of Michael Atkinson, inspector general for the intelligence community.  "While I recognize that the President has the authority to appoint and  remove Inspectors General, I believe Inspector General Atkinson served  the intelligence community and the American people well, and his removal  was not warranted," she said in a statement.
  8. March 13, 2020: Collins suggested that Trump should "step back" from his public response to the coronavirus, telling reporters,  "It is very important that health professionals be out front and that  there be a consistent message" and calling his administration's  messaging "inconsistent."
  9. Feb. 7, 2020: As Trump removed or demoted multiple federal employees who testified against him during the impeachment trial — and one witness' brother — Collins said she was against retaliation. "I obviously  am not in favor of any kind of retribution against anyone who came  forward with evidence," she told reporters, without specifically  denouncing Trump's actions.
  10. Feb. 4, 2020: Though she decided not to convict him of obstruction or abuse of power in the impeachment trial, Collins called Trump's July 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "improper" and "far from perfect."
  11. Oct. 22, 2019: After Trump attacked the impeachment proceedings against him as a "lynching," Collins tweeted:  "'Lynching' brings back images of a terrible time in our nation's  history, and the President never should have made that comparison."
  12. Oct. 9, 2019: Collins criticized Trump's decision to abruptly withdraw troops from the border area between Turkey and Syria in a pair of tweets.  "On Monday, I said that President Trump's decision to abandon the  Kurds, our major ally in the fight against ISIS, was terribly unwise,"  she wrote. "Today, we are seeing the consequences of that terrible  decision. If the reports of Turkish strikes in Syria are accurate, I  fear our allies the Kurds could be slaughtered."
  13. Oct. 5, 2019: After Trump asked China to investigate Joe Biden during a press availability, Collins objected.  "I thought the president made a big mistake by asking China to get  involved in investigating a political opponent," she told reporters.  "It's completely inappropriate."
  14. Aug. 15, 2019: Collins tweeted that she disagreed with Trump's successful effort to get two congresswomen of color banned from visiting Israel. "Israel  should allow U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to  visit," she wrote. "The Trump Administration made a mistake in urging  Israel to prevent them from entering the country."
  15. March 29, 2019: Collins joined a bipartisan group of senators criticizing a Trump administration  proposal to increase work requirements for food assistance recipients.  "The proposed changes would take food assistance away from Americans  struggling to find stable employment while doing nothing to help them to  actually become permanently employed," she and Sen. Angus King (I-ME)  said in a joint press release.
  16. Feb. 14, 2019: Collins objected to Trump's decision  to declare an "emergency" at the southern border to allow him to shift  taxpayer dollars from defense projects to paying for his border wall.  "Declaring a national emergency for this purpose would be a mistake on  the part of the President," she said in a press statement.
  17. Nov. 25, 2018: After journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and killed, Trump refused to blame the Saudi regime despite evidence pointing to its culpability. Collins tweeted,  "It is a grave mistake for the President to ignore the CIA's widely  reported assessment on the Khashoggi murder. If the President does not  reconsider what actions our government should take toward the Saudi  Government & [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman], Congress must  act instead."
  18. Oct. 3, 2018: When Trump publicly mocked Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Collins told reporters: "The president's comments were just plain wrong." She would later vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
  19. July 18, 2018: After Trump openly supported Vladimir Putin's claims that Russia had not meddled in the 2016  election — despite his own intelligence agencies' findings — Collins tweeted her disagreement. "The Russians continue efforts to undermine Western  democracies, including ours," she wrote. "The President is wrong and  needs to heed the warnings from our Intelligence Community, including  Dan Coats."
  20. July 16, 2018: Two days earlier, she tweeted,  "The President's statements today in Helsinki demonstrate his continued  refusal to accept the unanimous conclusions of U.S. intelligence  leaders and the bipartisan findings of the Senate Intelligence  Committee."
  21. Jan. 12, 2018: Collins objected to Donald Trump's racist comments that fewer immigrants should be allowed from African nations because  they are "shithole countries." "These comments are highly inappropriate  & out of bounds and could hurt efforts for a bipartisan immigration  agreement," she tweeted. "The President should not denigrate other countries."
  22. Nov. 30, 2017: At a Christian Science Monitor event,  Collins said Trump's hate speech was not constructive. "But do I think  it's helpful that he raises these conspiracy theories or puts out a  tweet of an anti-Muslim video that turns out to not even be accurate?  No, I don't and I haven't hesitated to criticize the president when he  does," she said.
  23. June 4, 2017: Collins said she did not agree with Trump's claim that his Muslim travel ban was necessary for security. "I think that the travel ban is too broad and that is why it has been rejected by the courts," she said in an appearance on "Face the Nation." (In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the ban in a 5-4 ruling.)
  24. June 1, 2017: Collins tweeted her disappointment that Trump had decided to pull out of a major  international climate change agreement: "Climate change requires a  global approach. I'm disappointed in the President's decision to  withdraw from the Paris Agreement."

Collins has refused to say whether she will vote for Trump's reelection.

But as she faces a tough reelection race herself this November,  Collins — at least as of the end of last year — still had Trump's support.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. Attribution to Josh Isreal.