Rhode Island’s senior U.S. Sen., Jack Reed, is defending his sharp comments about President Donald Trump and a Republican congressman. Reed spoke candidly with Senate colleague Susan Collins during an unintentionally recorded conversation.
After a congressional hearing, Reed commiserated with Republican Collins about Trump, apparently referring to the president as “crazy.”
Reed’s spokesman says the senator had already made similar remarks in public, although in less colorful terms.
Reed also criticized a Republican representative from Texas who made disparaging comments about Collins. He said he was defending a colleague with whom he’s worked since the 1990s.
“Frankly, it’s very frustrating to read about comments that are just so disparaging of her,” Reed said. “And I was upset, frankly that someone would go ahead and make such comments, and communicate that to her.”
Reed said he believes his remarks resonated with his Rhode Island constituents.
“This was a conversation between two friends, and that’s not usually what you hear on formal statements from people in public office,” Reed explained. “I think the other thing too is that it tapped into the sense of frustration that a lot of Rhode Islanders have.”
That may be true in Rhode Island, where demonstrators have called for the state’s congressional delegation to take a tougher stand against Trump.