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Collins 'Appalled' By Trump's Tweet Criticizing Kavanaugh Accuser; Would Accept Hearing Delay

Willis Ryder Arnold
Maine Public
Sen. Susan Collins answers reporters' questions while attending a groundbreaking for a retirement community in Portland Friday.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she was appalled by a tweet from President Trump criticizing the woman who has accused his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault. The tweet questions why Christine Blasey Ford failed to report the alleged crime at the time.Collins, a potential swing vote in Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process, told reporters at a groundbreaking ceremony in Portland that the president was wrong to criticize Ford because sexual assault cases often go unreported.

"So I thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong," she said.

Collins also said that she is not opposed to accommodating Ford's request to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee later next week instead of Monday.

Ford's attorney is negotiating terms of the testimony with leaders of the committee and has asked for a delay.

Collins said in her conversations with him, Kavanaugh has categorically denied the Ford's allegations. Collins said sworn testimony by Ford and Kavanaugh, and questions by attorneys and senators, will help her determine which story is correct.

"It's very difficult to assess credibility if you don't see the person and hear them. And that's what I want," she said.

Roughly 30 protestors greeted Collins when she arrived in Portland. Collins has been critical of some efforts aimed at getting her to vote against Kavanaugh, but said Friday that those critics have a right to make their case.

This post was updated Sept. 21, 2018 at 1:05 p.m. ET.