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Collins: My office has gotten 'pretty ugly voicemails, threats' over Kavanaugh
GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who has been viewed as a key swing vote in the Supreme Court fight, said in a recent interview that her office has received "some pretty ugly voicemails" over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination.
"My office has received some pretty ugly voicemails, threats, terrible things said to my staff," Collins said in an interview with WVOM on Wednesday.
"This has been a very ugly process and I think that's very unfortunate for everyone involved," Collins added.
Collins made the remarks while discussing threats Kavanaugh has received since President Trump nominated him to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. She also discussed threats made to Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has come forward with accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. Collins stressed she does not "equate" threats she has received to Ford's.
Collins said in the interview that Kavanaugh "has received some threats and goodness knows" as the battle over his nomination kicks into high gear. But she also weighed in on reports stating that Ford had been forced out of her home due to death threats after her newly disclosed allegations against the Supreme Court nominee were made public.
The GOP senator said in the interview that she believes Ford should be provided with any protection that she may request "for herself and for her family," but also urged Ford to speak with the Senate about her newly-disclosed allegations against Kavanaugh, saying that "it would be better for her."
Other GOP lawmakers have also been pushing for Ford to appear at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing set for Monday to review her allegations.
However, Ford's lawyers have said their client will not testify during the hearing until the FBI investigates her allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.
Collins's remarks arrive on the heels of reports earlier this month in which aides for the moderate senator detailed calls and voicemails Collins's office has been receiving as the battle over Kavanaugh kicked into high gear.
"We've had some very abusive callers. ... We've had some very vulgar calls and sort of harassing the staff," Steve Abbot, Collins's chief of staff, told a Maine TV station at the time.
One of the numerous voicemails obtained by the local station included a caller who brought up a 2003 email where Kavanaugh suggested nixing a paragraph out of a draft op-ed that characterized Roe v. Wade as widely accepted among legal scholars as settled law.
"Have you seen the emails ... where he talked about Roe v. Wade not being settled law. He [bleeped] lied to you. How [bleeped] naive do you have to be?" the caller in the voicemail said.
--Updated Thursday at 12 p.m.