Collins: It's 'very sexist' to assume I asked McConnell's permission in witness vote

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Trump: GOP senators who don't embrace him will 'lose their elections' MORE (R-Maine) asserted on Fox News Wednesday that it is “very sexist” for people to assume she received permission from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) when she voted to include additional witnesses and documentation in President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE's impeachment trial.

Collins was reacting to a tweet from David Frum, a staff writer at The Atlantic, who said he assumed Collins asked the Senate majority leader for permission for her vote last week while Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance Ron Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump MORE (R-Utah) did not.

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“I’ve cast more than 7,000 votes in my Senate time, and I’ve never asked anyone for permission on how to vote,” she told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Wednesday following Trump's acquittal earlier in the day. “So that is just totally wrong, and I would also argue that it’s very sexist that he thinks that I somehow got permission to vote for witnesses, a position I've taken from the very beginning.”

“In fact, neither of us asked for permission,” she added, referring to Romney.

Collins, who voted to acquit Trump in Wednesday’s vote, said she respected Romney, but “reached a different conclusion.” The Utah senator broke with the GOP and convicted the president of the abuse of power charge. 

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The Maine senator added that she “really” doesn’t think she will second-guess her decision, saying the Founders did not intend to take impeachment “lightly,” and the House did not make all necessary moves to obtain all relevant testimony.

The Senate acquitted the president after a months-long impeachment process. Senate Democrats had attempted to push for senators to support adding witnesses and documentation to the trial, but did not obtain enough votes last week. 

The House impeached Trump on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December after former and current officials testified in hearings about the president’s alleged involvement in withholding military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate former vice president and 2020 political rival Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris to host virtual Hollywood campaign event co-chaired by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling Trump plans to accept Republican nomination from White House lawn US seizes four vessels loaded with Iranian fuel MORE.