Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump

Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock MORE (R-Maine) said Friday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE's report gives an "unflattering portrayal" of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE, including an effort to oust the former FBI director from his special counsel role.

“He was not only very upset by the special counsel’s investigations, but tried several times through intermediaries to end it, and it is an unflattering portrayal of the President," Collins told Maine Public Radio.

Her comments come after Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGOP rep predicts watchdog report on alleged FISA abuses will find 'problems' Barr defends Trump's use of executive authority, slams impeachment hearings GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse MORE released the 448-page report on Thursday, detailing Mueller's findings from the probe into the 2016 election and the Trump campaign as well as his conclusion that Congress may probe potential obstruction of justice.

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As part of the obstruction section of his report, Mueller detailed 10 "episodes," including efforts by Trump to end the investigation, both when it was being overseen by former FBI Director James Comes and then by Mueller.

In one episode described by Mueller, Trump in 2017 ordered then-White House counsel Don McGahn to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinDemocrats ask judge to force McGahn to comply with subpoena Democrats ask court to force DOJ's hand on Mueller grand jury materials Washington celebrates diplomacy — and baseball — at Meridian Ball MORE to get rid of the special counsel. But McGahn refused, warning that he would rather resign.

In a subsequent episode described by Mueller, Trump in 2018 then tried to get McGahn to deny that he ever asked the White House counsel to help fire Mueller.

Trump, as described in the Mueller report, also tried several times to get then-Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: Ukraine's not the only outrage To understand death behind bars, we need more information White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations MORE to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the investigation and take over the probe.

Collins, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Maine NPR on Friday that she believed Mueller's report was a "very thorough undertaking."

"The Russians were determined to try to influence public opinion and interfere in our elections, and that is a serious threat to our democratic institution,” Collins said.

Collins, who is up for reelection in 2020, isn't the only GOP senator raising early alarm bells over parts of the Mueller report.

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump FDA pick dodges questions on Trump's flavored vape ban Congress feels heat to act on youth vaping Progressive Democrats ramp up attacks on private equity MORE (R-Utah) said in a statement on Friday that he was "sickened" by some of the behavior described in the report, including actions by Trump.

"I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President," Romney said in a statement posted to Twitter.