Susan Collins, on hot mic, burns Blake Farenthold and Donald Trump

The Republican senator from Maine was caught on a hot mic ripping her fellow Republicans

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 25, 2017 1:57PM (EDT)

Blake Farenthold   (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Blake Farenthold (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold may be popular among the base of hard-line Republicans and Tea Partiers who elected him, but that doesn't mean his own colleagues hold him in particularly high regard.

Farenthold attracted criticism earlier this week after denouncing some of his female Republican colleagues in the Senate for opposing the Obamacare repeal. He told a radio interviewer that "if it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style."

Farenthold's comment came up during a conversation on Tuesday — caught on a hot mic — between Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. "Is he the one who challenged me to a duel?" Collins asked Reed during a conversation about President Donald Trump's budgetary policy.

"You know why he challenged you to a duel?" Reed replied. "Cause you could beat the shit out of him."

Collins seemed to disagree, commenting that Farenthold is "huge" before adding, "He's so unattractive, it's unbelievable. Did you see the picture of him in his pajamas next to this bunny?"

This isn't the first time that Farenthold has found himself on the receiving end of unflattering headlines. He also faced a sexual harassment lawsuit that was settled out of court in 2015.

The conversation between Reed and Collins wasn't limited to Farenthold. Earlier, they discussed their belief that Trump has failed to lead Congress on budget policy.

"If we don't get a budget deal, we're going to be paralyzed," Reed mused to Collins. "DoD is going to be paralyzed. Everyone is going to be paralyzed. And he hasn't said one word. Nothing."

Collins agreed, pointing out that "I don't think he even knows that there is a BCA [Budget Control Act] or anything, I really don't."

“He was down at the Ford commissioning,” Reed replied, referring to 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.”

Reed continued: “It’s just — and he hasn’t — not one word about the budget. Not one word about the debt ceiling.”

“Good point,” Collins conceded.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Blake Farenthold Donald Trump Jack Reed Partner Video Susan Collins