Jan 31, 2018

Susan Collins: "The president is the president"

Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

"The president is the president. And I accept that... He was not my choice for the Republican candidate, but I respect the fact that he is the president and I work with him."
— Sen. Susan Collins to Axios' Mike Allen Wednesday

Why it matters:  Collins has had a rough relationship with President Trump, despite being from the same party and representing a "Trump country" state. She said that Trump has grown in office and has changed his position on a few issues, but added, "I don’t think his personality has changed, I still think he tends to react too rapidly."

Highlights:

  • The talking stick: Collins said that the bipartisan group of around 26 Senators she held meetings with during the shutdown, which originally including Girl Scout cookies, Dunkin' Donuts coffee and the infamous talking stick, continues to meet. She said, "to me it’s very encouraging that there is that large a number of Senators who are willing to make government work again and that’s what we really need."
  • The State of the Union Address: "It was a fascinating evening,  I kept thinking that the President’s speech was so eclectic … He covered a lot of territory. You couldn’t pigeon hole the speech. It was neither liberal nor a conservative speech."  
  • Her interactions with Trump: "He tends to be very gracious and tends to listen and will say 'now that sounds reasonable.' Now sometimes, when he talks to his staff he changes his mind over what is reasonable ... I found that he has listened to me on some issues."
  • On #MeToo: Collins praised legislation that she said is on its way to President Trump's desk. She said it sets new requirements for reporting sexual harassment and abuse in amateur sports — inspired by the revelations of U.S. Olympic gymnasts.

Go deeper

Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy