WASHINGTON — The campaign of pressure on Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to oppose the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has escalated to include vulgar phone calls, shipments of wire hangers sent to her office and a questionable high-dollar fundraising drive against her that her office likens to extortion.
As a potential GOP swing vote, Collins has been at the center of attention for both parties since President Donald Trump announced Kavanaugh's nomination in July. Now, with the Senate Judiciary hearings over and the nomination about to proceed to the full Senate, progressive activists are increasing the pressure, concerned that Kavanaugh would undo abortion rights and roll back health care protections.
For her part, Collins has said little about how she might vote on the final confirmation, keeping her in the crosshairs for an onslaught of attacks and providing a target for frustrated activists.
Some callers have been particularly abusive, according to recordings obtained by NBC News from her office. The profanity-laced voice mails reveal the anger over Kavanaugh's nomination and, potentially at her should she vote to confirm him.
One caller on Friday, September 7 at 6:11 p.m., left a message saying, in part: "If you care at all about women's choice, vote 'no' on Kavanaugh. Don't be a dumb b***h. F*** you also."
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