Collins 'appalled' by Trump’s tweet, says to delay Kavanaugh vote to let accuser testify

    FILE- In this Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at her office, before a private meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

    PORTLAND (WMGE) -- Sen. Susan Collins is "appalled" by President Trump's tweet on the controversy surrounding a sexual assault claim against his US Supreme Court nominee.

    The tweet focues on an alleged incident occurred while Judge Brett Kavanaugh was a teenager, according to his accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

    President Trump's tweet read:

    "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"

    Collins, a Republican, said the tweet was "inappropriate" given the nature of the accusation.

    "Allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist, so I thought that the President's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong," she said.

    Collins said Ford should testify under-oath to share her story in person, including a section of questions where Ford and Kavanaugh can be the ones asking the questions.

    "I think we need to attempt to make this as comfortable a process for her as possible," she said.

    Collins wants to see Ford talk about it in person, since she says it's easier to read someone who is in front of you. She asked Kavanaugh about the allegations in person, and that he denied them.

    "He categorically denied them to me. He was emphatic about that denial. I asked him if he had an idea of who he thought would author what was then an anonymous letter, and he said he did not," she said.

    Some Mainers aren't happy with the nomination of Kavanaugh and protested Collins' visit to Portland Friday.

    Collins said she wants the process to wrap up quickly, saying the average length of time for a nomination is 67 days. This nomination has extended beyond that mark.

    "There is a limit to how long we should allow serious allegations to go on unaddressed. I want things to be fair to both Prof. Ford as well as Judge Kavanaugh," she said.

    Federal officials say Dr. Ford has until 10 p.m. Friday to decide if she will testify next Wednesday.

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