BANGOR — Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Monday she’s not sure if President Donald Trump will be her party’s nominee for the nation’s top job in 2020.

Collins, who didn’t endorse Trump last year, told MSNBC it is “too difficult to say” if he’ll gain the GOP’s backing in the next presidential race.

Her own position toward the president remains cautious.

Asked if she would throw her support to Trump, Collins said, “It’s far too early to tell now. There’s a long way between now and that point.”

Collins said last year she wrote in House Speaker Paul Ryan instead of casting a vote for any of the presidential candidates on Maine’s ballot, perhaps the most prominent Republican office-holder to refuse to support Trump.

“That was very hard for me to do as a lifelong Republican,” Collins said.
Collins has remained a thorn in the president’s side, casting one of three votes that wiped out the Senate Republicans’ plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act and voting against him more times than any other GOP senator.

She said, though, she is looking forward to hearing what Trump has to say about Afghanistan tonight.

Collins said the country’s strategy toward the troubled nation has “lacked focus” for years and the Taliban, who once provided a base for Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, are making inroads there.

“I don’t want Afghanistan to be a safe haven for terrorist attacks,” Collins said.

She also repeated her call for Trump to “speak with absolute clarity” in denouncing Nazis and white supremacists.

“Unfortunately, he wavered back and forth” instead of sticking to his stronger statements, she said, failing to meet the standard of presidential leadership in the process.

Collins said she’s still weighing whether to run for governor next year.

“I have not made a decision,” she said.

She said she has a lot of seniority in the Senate, where she knows she can make a difference, but recognizes that governors have more hands-on ability to take action to help people.

“I really want to evaluate where I can do the best for the people of Maine,” Collins said.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who didn’t endorse President Donald Trump last year, told MSNBC it is “too difficult to say” if he’ll gain the GOP’s backing in the next presidential race.

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