Susan Collins confronted on CNN with her Trump 'learned his lesson' comments before the Capitol riot
CNN screenshot

CNN "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper put Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on the spot over her comments after former president Donald Trump was impeached the first time -- which she voted against -- when she said she felt the president had "learned his lesson."

In light of Donald Trump's incitement of the Jan 6th Capitol riot that sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives, and his subsequent second impeachment trial, the CNN host asked her if she misjudged the former president.

"After President Trump was impeached for the first time for urging Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, I know you hoped that the president learned his lesson -- and you said that was aspirational. But after Biden won, the president tried to overturn the election results that culminated in the Capitol attack. Did you think he learned a lesson, but the lesson he learned is that he can get away with anything?" Tapper asked.

"First of all, that was an interview that was grossly misedited," Collins replied. "It chopped out the rest of what I said, which was in dealing with foreign governments."

"Oh, okay,' Tapper nodded.

"I hope that the president has learned the lesson," she continued. "But to get to your point, I've been involved in three impeachment trials. I voted to acquit President Clinton and President Trump the first time, to convict him the second time. In each case, what I have done is listened to the facts, applied the evidence, and follow the constitutional standard for convicting a president. My approach has not changed. I used exactly the same criteria, the criteria that the constitution requires. In the first two cases, I did not feel that the conduct was proven to meet the highest bar for removing a president from office in the third case I felt it did."

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