Collins says Kavanaugh’s anger and frustration ‘are understandable’

Collins says Kavanaugh’s anger and frustration ‘are understandable’
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Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns Stephen King: 'It's time for Susan Collins to go' MORE (R-Maine) defended Supreme Court Designate Brett Kavanaugh’s temperament in a pre-taped interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation.” 

“Well first let me say that I thought Judge Kavanaugh’s denial at the second hearing was very powerful," Collins told John Dickerson in an interview to be aired Sunday. "His anger and his anguish, I think is — are understandable given that he's been accused of being involved in gang rapes of women. I mean that is a devastating allegation. So I think it was understandable that he was reacting as a human being as a father — as a father of two young girls." 

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“But I will say that I thought his questioning — with the questioning with the senators, that he went over the line and I was glad that he apologized to Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharRules for first Democratic primary debates announced Senate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions Sanders unveils student debt plan amid rivalry with Warren MORE in particular,” Collins added. 

Kavanaugh, whom the Senate confirmed to the Supreme Court Saturday afternoon, appeared in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week and issued a fiery denial of three women’s allegations against him of sexual misconduct while he was in high school and college. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly bringing her into a bedroom, pinning her to a bed and trying to take off her clothes at a high school party in 1982, also testified at the hearing. 

Kavanaugh suggested the allegations were planned “smears” as part of Democrats’ “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”

He also asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) if she had ever blacked out from drinking after she asked him the same thing. Kavanaugh apologized to Klobuchar after a brief recess.

Many on the left, already enraged over the sexual misconduct accusations leveled against Kavanaugh, pointed to his perceived partisanship as another reason to vote against his confirmation.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Overnight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial The 7 GOP senators who voted to block all or part of Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Alaska), the lone GOP senator to not vote to confirm Kavanaugh, cited “matters of temperament” and “demeanor” in a speech on the Senate floor Friday explaining her decision. 

In the interview Collins said her decision to vote to confirm Kavanaugh was “a tough one” and defended the investigation the FBI conducted into the allegations against him. 

“It was a thorough investigation. Keep in mind that there have already been six FBI background investigations that have been done on Judge Kavanaugh and I, along with Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeJeff Flake becoming Harvard fellow Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE and Lisa Murkowski, insisted that there be a supplemental FBI investigation to look at these allegations because they were so serious,” she said.

The senator also defended Ford’s testimony, but said she could not find any corroborating evidence that Kavanaugh was her assailant.

“I am convinced that Dr. Ford believes what she told us and that she was the victim as a survivor of sexual assault and that, that has been a trauma that has stayed with her for her entire life. But we have a presumption of innocence in this country. And when I looked at the lack of any corroborating evidence — including no evidence from her very best friend who was present at the party I could not conclude that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant,” she said.

Collins suggested that Democrats used Ford’s story for political means, referring to a leaked letter sent to Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Young activists press for change in 2020 election MORE (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which Ford outlined her accusations and requested to remain anonymous.

“Well I can't help but think that there were some who wanted to use Dr. Ford, and that really saddens me because otherwise they would have gone with her express wishes, which is to have been interviewed in private, to have kept her allegations confidential. They still could have been thoroughly explored and I think that's really shameful. I do not think the system treated her well," she said.