Collins admits comments about Trump learning a lesson are 'aspirational'

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPresident tightens grip on federal watchdogs The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump gets new press secretary in latest shake-up Trump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic MORE (R-Maine) on Wednesday acknowledged that her stated belief that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE had learned a lesson from impeachment was "aspirational," saying that she "may not be correct on that."

Speaking on Fox News following the Senate's vote to acquit Trump, Collins said that her previous comments stemmed from a hope that the president would listen to the several Republican senators who said his behavior was "problematic."

"I hoped that the president would’ve learned from the fact that he was impeached by the House," Collins said, adding that parts of Trump's July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were "wrong."

ADVERTISEMENT

The call was at the center of the House's inquiry into Trump's alleged efforts to get Ukraine to open investigations into his political rivals.

"The president [asked a] federal government to investigate a political rival. And he should not have done that. And I would hope that he would not do it again," she said. 

Asked if she received any assurances from Trump about his future conduct, Collins said that she had not spoken with Trump throughout the Senate trial. When pressed on why she believed he'd a learned a lesson, then, Collins said, "Well, I may not be correct on that."

In announcing her intention to vote to acquit Trump earlier this week, Collins justified her position by stating that the president had learned a "pretty big lesson" from impeachment and that he would be "much more cautious in the future."

Asked about Collins's comments ahead of the State of the Union address on Tuesday, Trump reportedly said that he'd done nothing wrong, adding, “It was a perfect call."

The Senate concluded its trial of Trump by voting to acquit him on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOutgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (Utah) was the only Republican to join the 47 Democratic senators and vote to convict Trump for abuse of power. 

Trump tweeted early Thursday that impeachment was "just a continuation of the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats corrupt practices!" He is scheduled to give an address from the White House later Thursday afternoon.