Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who represents the state of Maine, spoke candidly about the 2020 presidential election, keeping her comments brief on the subject, but igniting a host of questions about her support for current President Donald Trump while doing so.
When asked about whether she thought a Republican candidate other than Trump should challenge him for the party’s nomination in the 2020 primaries, Collins said there was “nothing wrong” with anyone doing so. She seemed welcoming of the idea in her comments to CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“It’s always interesting when we have primaries because a lot of times it allows different viewpoints to surface,” Collins said, according to reporting from CNN. “It can help influence public policy down the road and it’s healthy for our democracy.”
When Tapper pressed on for Collins to clarify — including whether she herself intended to endorse Trump for re-election in two years’ time — the senator from Maine kept mum on the subject.
“I’m going to talk about 2020 in 2020,” she insisted.
Some Republicans who could possibly challenge Trump for the nomination include outgoing GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, as well as Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is also stepping down from his government role in 2019 due to term limits.
Pew: 37% of Republicans and Republican leaners would like to see a primary challenge to Trump in 2020. Pretty substantial. Previous polling in IA and NH shows the number in those states supporting a challenge about ten percentage points higher. https://t.co/SzZ1xMHyOB
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 15, 2018
Some Republican insiders have stated privately that they’d also welcome a change in leadership in the White House. According to previous reporting from the Inquisitr, Los Angeles Times White House correspondent Eli Stokols has said he’s personally spoken to some lawmakers in the GOP on Capitol Hill who have told him as much.
Specifically, these lawmakers are worried about continued investigations involving Trump and members of his inner circle. They said that if more evidence of malfeasance comes about from the Russia investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller, that “the bottom’s going to fall out,” meaning Republicans will back away from supporting Trump, according to Stokols.
Indeed, Trump seems to be trying to stave off any suggestions that he has done anything wrong, despite strong evidence from witnesses appearing in court saying as much. He went on Twitter earlier this morning deriding news reports (and even comedians from Saturday Night Live) for “unfair” depictions of himself, questioning whether news reporting and satirical takes on his leadership are even legal, according to reporting from Variety.
Yet there is real reason for Trump to be concerned. According to the New York Times, almost every part of Trump’s life is under the microscope, with one investigation or another looking into his businesses, his charities, the 2016 campaign, and his time as president so far.