The most charitable way to characterize Lincoln Paine’s vicious diatribe against Sen. Susan Collins (Maine Voices, June 22) is that his abject partisanship has blinded him to the facts.

It is difficult to know which of Mr. Paine’s many falsehoods to address first. His characterization of Sen. Collins’ vote on the 2001 Patriot Act as partisan? It passed the Senate 98-1. His assertion that Sen. Collins could have stopped Betsy DeVos’ nomination? This tired liberal narrative was debunked in a column by the Press Herald’s own Bill Nemitz. Her supposedly lukewarm response to Charlottesville? Sen. Collins spoke out multiple times and said President Trump had a “moral obligation” to denounce neo-Nazis.

The most troubling part of Mr. Paine’s op-ed, aside from the misinformation he spreads about Sen. Collins’ record, is that he appears to exploit the child separation crisis as a cudgel to make groundless claims.

Sen. Collins loudly and repeatedly condemned the administration’s abhorrent policy, mincing no words in describing it as “traumatizing to children” and “contrary to our American values.” She worked – and continues to work – with members on both sides of the aisle, inviting Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Ted Cruz to her office to work on a bipartisan legislative fix. And she urged the administration, both in public and behind the scenes, to end its policy immediately. Shortly following a letter she sent with 12 of her colleagues, President Trump did just that by signing an executive order that began the process of reuniting families.

While Mr. Paine may be focused on making unconstructive, partisan attacks, Sen. Collins has never lost focus of the most important goal: actually helping these innocent children and keeping families together.

Christopher W. Knight

press secretary, Office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine

Washington, D.C.