BUSTED: Susan Collins wanted to clear an entire row of the press gallery of reporters — and keep it empty
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Image via screengrab.

The Senate took a dinner break at 6:30 p.m. EST and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) used the break to "loudly" tell Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) that she didn't like where the press was seated.

RollCall reporter K. Tully-McManus tweeted that Collins wanted the press pushed back away from her.

"During the break, Sen. Susan Collins said loudly to Sens Murkowski, Thune & Tillis that she would like the first row of the press gallery to be kept empty and that reporters should only be seated from the second row back, motioning to the sparse remaining press (myself included)

"Collins made a motion that looked like she was leaning over, mimicking a hypothetical reporter leaning over the gallery balcony, a prohibited act that has been strictly enforced during the trial.

"Collins sometimes speaks so softly that it is hard to hear her even when she is up close, but she made this comment loudly enough that it was heard by me from one story up (over the chatter of reporters around me and senators talking on the floor)"

It's unclear what Collins is so bothered by that would be remedied by pushing reporters less than 3 feet back.