As we wait to see whether Republicans have successfully convinced each other that it’s a good idea to kill their constituents, let’s take a quick break to enjoy moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins caught on a hot mic burning the hell out of the Trump administration—and also Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.), of whom she said: “I don’t mean to be unkind, but he’s so unattractive it’s unbelievable.” That, friends, is a good sentence.
The conversation took place at the end of a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, and was apparently between Collins, the committee chair, and Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the ranking Democrat. The conversation reveals Collins’ concerns about the president’s incompetence; when Reed said “I think [Trump is] crazy,” Collins’ replied: “I’m worried.”
The Washington Post has a good readout:
After Reed praises Collins’s handling of the hearing, held by the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she laments the administration’s handling of spending.
“I swear, [the Office of Management and Budget] just went through and whenever there was ‘grant,’ they just X it out,” Collins says. “With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It’s just incredibly irresponsible.”
“Yes,” Reed replies. “I think — I think he’s crazy,” apparently referring to the president. “I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy.”
“I’m worried,” Collins replies.
“Oof,” Reed continues. “You know, this thing — if we don’t get a budget deal, we’re going to be paralyzed.”
“I know,” Collins replies.
“[Department of Defense] is going to be paralyzed, everybody is going to be paralyzed,” Reed says.
“I don’t think he knows there is a [Budget Control Act] or anything,” Collins says, referring to a 2011 law that defines the budget process.
“He was down at the Ford commissioning,” Reed says, referring to President Trump’s weekend event launching a new aircraft carrier, “saying, ‘I want them to pass my budget.’ Okay, so we give him $54 billion and then we take it away across the board which would cause chaos.”
“Right,” Collins replies.
After Reed referenced “crazy people in the House,” Collins asked: “Did you see the one who challenged me to a duel?” She was referring, of course, to Rep. Farenthold, who blamed three “female senators from the Northeast” for undermining the Republican healthcare bill.
“I know,” Reed replies. “Trust me. Do you know why he challenged you to a duel? ‘Cause you could beat the s— out of him.”
“Well, he’s huge,” Collins replies. “And he — I don’t mean to be unkind, but he’s so unattractive it’s unbelievable.”
“Did you see the picture of him in his pajamas next to this Playboy bunny?”
Farenthold, for additional context, is also known for having once owned the website domain Blow-me.org.
UPDATE: Sen. Collins has released a statement apologizing to Rep. Farenthold: