Sen. Susan Collins spoke at length in an interview with Fox News aired Thursday night about the threats and harassment that she, her family and her staff endured during the period leading up to her vote to approve Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Maine Republican appeared on Fox’s “The Untold Story” and answered questions from host Martha MacCallum about Kavanaugh’s controversial confirmation in October.

“It was a very difficult time,” Collins told MacCallum.

Collins said her husband and dog had to be quarantined after a suspicious letter – originally believed to contain poisonous ricin residue – was delivered to their home in Bangor.

Fox News also played back a profanity-laced phone recording directed at Collins.

“It was unlike anything I’ve seen in all the years that I have been privileged to serve in the Senate,” Collins said of the angry phone calls and emails she and her staff received in the weeks leading up to Kavanaugh’s appointment.

The Senate voted 50-48 on Oct. 6 to confirm President Trump’s nominee to the high court and Collins’ vote was considered pivotal.

Most of the details Collins related had been previously reported.

Collins’ spokeswoman Annie Clark said MacCallum approached Collins about doing an interview on Kavanaugh’s confirmation and Collins accepted. The interview was conducted this week while MacCallum was in Washington.

In one part of the segment, Collins told Fox News about an encounter she had with a man who confronted her and shined a flashlight in her eyes as she was attempting to return to her home after parking her car. The man followed her to her doorstep and turned on a video camcorder before she faced him and asked him to stop harassing her. When she asked the man his name, he identified himself – much to Collins’ surprise.

“It was frightening,” she said.

Collins told MacCallum that she was surprised that people thought they could change her opinion by making threats against her and her family. She said she needs to stick to her beliefs and principles so that when she looks in the mirror she can tell herself that what she did was right.

Collins said the nomination process, which included allegations of sexual assault involving Judge Kavanaugh, was troubling.

“I can only hope that this represents rock bottom in what has been a steady decline in the dignity and decorum of the nomination process for Supreme Court nominees over the past three decades,” she said.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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