President Donald Trump, center, speaks as he meets with Republican senators on health care in the East Room of the White House in Washington, on June 27, 2017. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, left, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, right, listen. AP file photo

When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine refused to vote for him.

Denouncing him for mocking the vulnerable and attacking “ethnic and religious minorities,” she wrote in House Speaker Paul Ryan instead, a choice that didn’t even register in the final results since the Wisconsin Republicans hadn’t registered as any sort of candidate in Maine.

But it appears that Trump, unusually for him, isn’t holding a grudge.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham recently issued a tweet recently hailing Collins, a four-term Republican, for showing “unbelievable courage” during the bitter confirmation fight surrounding U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last year “and at other times when our country has needed a steady voice.”

“We need her to ensure a GOP majority in 2020,” Graham wrote, and urged his supporters to send money to Collins’ campaign. He also linked to her recent reelection announcement.

On Monday evening, Trump retweeted Graham’s words and added a few of his own.

“I agree 100%!” Trump said.

It marks one of the few times that Trump has directly praised Collins, who has proven a presidential ally on some key issues and a thorn in his side on others, especially in her 2017 vote to block repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The day after her speech in favor of Kavanaugh in September 2018, Trump told reporters he “thought that Susan was incredible yesterday.”

Collins has avoided saying anything about whether she’ll endorse Trump in 2020, focusing instead on what she perceives as the need to work with him on matters of national importance.

While she hasn’t taken a stand on the presidential race next year — which is bound to have a major impact on her effort to win a fifth term — she also hasn’t retracted any of the harsh comments she issued about Trump in a 2016 column for The Washington Post.

Collins has expressed distaste for Trump’s tweets on a number of occasions, occasionally denouncing some as over the line and sometimes simply wishing he would stop using the social media platform.

It isn’t clear whether Trump has ever referred to Collins so directly before on Twitter.

In 2018, he blasted a bipartisan immigration bill she cosponsored, claiming it would be “a total catastrophe” for the nation.

Generally, though, he’s avoided mentioning her.

He’s retweeted or touted U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, dozens of times. He’s even assailed Gail Collins, a New York Times columnist, more often than he’s ever referred to Maine’s senior senator.


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