Both U.S. senators from Maine condemned remarks made Tuesday night by President Trump in which he mocked Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago.

Speaking to supporters at a rally in Mississippi, Trump questioned Ford’s allegations that only days before he called credible.

“How did you get home?” Trump said. “I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know.”

The crowd cheered.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican and key vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, was asked about the remarks Wednesday morning. According to a video clip posted online by CNN, Collins was asked, “Are you comfortable with the president’s attacks on Christine Blasey Ford?”

Collins, who was walking into a committee room, stopped briefly to answer.

“The president’s comments were just plain wrong,” Collins said before entering the room.

She did not respond to the follow-up question, which was, “Is it going to affect your vote?”

Sen. Angus King, an independent who already has said he will not vote to confirm Kavanaugh, said in an interview Wednesday with CNN that Trump’s remarks made him “feel sort of sick.”

“To turn her testimony into a political rally punchline … I think ‘appalling’ is an appropriate term,” King said.

After Collins entered the committee room, the corridors outside her office were cleared by Capitol Police and media were being kept away, apparently because of security concerns, according to CNN reporter Manu Raju, who retweeted a photo of the vacant hallway that was sent out by CBS News reporter Alan He.

“Capitol Police threatening to boot us from the area because of unfounded concerns about us being a threat to her safety,” Raju tweeted. “Protesters are here too.”

Collins said last month that she and her staff had been subjected to hostile, vulgar and obscene comments from constituents during the intense campaign to influence her vote on Kavanaugh, including at least one threat against a staff member that would be turned over to police.

Collins’ office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday about Capitol Police blocking access to corridors outside her office.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote could take place late this week or on the weekend, depending on the results of an FBI investigation into Ford’s claims and other allegations. But many Republicans, Trump included, have steadfastly stood by Kavanaugh and continue to question and discredit his accusers.

Although House members do not vote on Kavanaugh, Maine U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, also weighed in to condemn the president’s statements on Twitter.

“The president has mocked people with disabilities, Gold Star families, women, immigrants, minorities and now Dr. Ford, who bravely shared her story of sexual assault in front of the world,” Pingree tweeted. “His behavior is appalling & unbecoming of a leader.”

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

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