Trump calls Sen. Susan Collins 'absolutely atrocious' after she says 'no one should be afraid' of him

Trump calls Sen. Susan Collins 'absolutely atrocious' after she says 'no one should be afraid' of him
Former President Donald Trump and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine at the White House in June 2017.Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • Trump called Collins "absolutely atrocious," while claiming responsibility for her 2020 victory.
  • He said she "didn't help the fisherman" or "the lumberjacks" in Maine.

Former President Donald Trump tore into Republican Sen. Susan Collins on Monday after The New York Times reported the Maine lawmaker was helping to recruit anti-Trump Republican candidates to run for Senate.

"Funny thing about Susan Collins, who is absolutely atrocious, and has been for a long time," Trump said at the start of his statement.

The Times reported on Sunday that Collins was working with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to woo candidates like Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a prominent anti-Trump figure in the party who recently declined to challenge Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen.

"No one should be afraid of President Trump, period," Collins told The Times. She won in 2020 without endorsing Trump and has declined to say whom she voted for. Trump, for his part, endorsed Collins, telling reporters in September 2020: "I hope she does well."

More broadly, The Times reported McConnell hoped to diminish Trump's influence in the party, in part to avoid what he called "goofballs" from costing Republicans otherwise winnable Senate races.


The former president pointed out that he won Maine's 2nd Congressional District, earning him one of the state's four Electoral College votes. Trump also said he remained silent on "the fisherman" and "the lumberjacks," saying Collins would have lost if he'd raised these issues.

"Just one word about her and the fact that she didn't help the fisherman, as their rights were taken from them from the federal government, and the lumberjacks, she would have had no chance to win," Trump said in his statement. "But I remained silent and positive and allowed her to have her victory."

Trump added: "She would have lost in a landslide. Gee, aren't I nice?"

It wasn't clear what Trump was referring to, though The Hill reported that the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to give Maine's fishing industry more time to adopt cleaner engines while Trump was president. He also issued a memo to the Department of Agriculture directing it to review financial aid to lobstermen who were financially affected by his trade war with China. Collins supported both measures, according to The Hill.

Trump did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment and clarification.


The former president's comments on Collins' performance in 2020 are belied by the fact that she outperformed him statewide by over 56,000 votes, winning her Senate race against Sara Gideon, a well-funded challenger, by over 8.5 percentage points, while Trump lost to President Joe Biden by over 9 percentage points.

Reached for comment, Annie Clark, Collins' communications director, pointed out that the lawmaker won in Maine even though her party's presidential nominee lost the state. That's "something she has done three times, the only sitting senator to do so," Clark said.