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Republican senator recorded criticizing Trump

By Amanda Becker

By Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins on Tuesday was recorded making critical comments about the Trump administration's understanding of the legislative process during a Senate subcommittee hearing.

Collins discussed Republican President Donald Trump and the federal budget with Democratic Senator Jack Reed at the end of a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing, according to a tape obtained by the Washington Post.

On the recording, Collins suggests the Office of Management and Budget is being capricious in its approach to reducing spending.

"No thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It's just incredibly irresponsible," Collins said, according to a Post report and accompanying audio.

"I think — I think he's crazy," Reed replied in an apparent reference to Trump.

"I don't think he knows there is a BCA (Budget Control Act) or anything," Collins later said, apparently referring to the president and a 2011 budget law.

Collins spokeswoman Annie Clark told Reuters that Collins is worried about the elimination of funding for transportation and housing programs in Trump's budget.

Reed spokesman Chip Unruh said the senator was "letting Senator Collins know he's in her corner."

"He has said it publicly and privately: The Trump Administration is behaving erratically and irresponsibly," Unruh said in an email to Reuters.

Later in the recording, Collins also responds to a Republican representative, Blake Farenthold, who said recently that he wished he could to challenge her to a duel over her healthcare bill opposition. Collins was one of just two Senate Republicans on Tuesday who voted against beginning debate on a bill to replace Obamacare.

"Did you see the picture of him in his pajamas next to this Playboy bunny?" Collins asked Reed, saying that Farenthold was "huge," and referencing a 2010 picture of Farenthold that made the rounds on Twitter.

Collins said in a statement that "neither weapons nor inappropriate words" were the right way to resolve legislative disputes.

"I received a handwritten apology from Rep. Farenthold late this morning. I accept his apology, and I offer him mine," she said.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)