'No, I haven’t been gone': Dianne Feinstein doesn’t remember absence from Capitol

'No, I haven’t been gone': Dianne Feinstein doesn’t remember absence from Capitol
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California in 2014 (Creative Commons)

A new analysis is diving into the curious case of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) as critics continue to call for the ailing lawmaker's resignation.

In a new article published by Slate Magazine, senior politics reporter Jim Newell shared details about his recent conversation with Feinstein.

On Tuesday, May 16, Newell and other reporters had the opportunity to speak briefly with the lawmaker where they asked a few questions, namely ones that focused on what most people have been concerned about — Feinstein's health and fitness for office.

READ MORE: Some of Dianne Feinstein’s colleagues fear that her memory is 'rapidly deteriorating': report

When asked how she was feeling, Feinstein responded saying, "Oh, I’m feeling fine. I have a problem with the leg.”

Another reporter chimed in to ask for specifications on Feinstein's leg matters. Refusing to offer a direct answer, the lawmaker said, “Well, nothing that’s anyone's concern but mine."

Newell highlighted a number of points where an increasingly irritated Feinstein deflected and refused to answer questions.

"When the fellow reporter asked her what the response from her colleagues had been like since her return, though, the conversation took an odd turn," Newell wrote.

READ MORE: Senate Judiciary Democrats unable to subpoena John Roberts because of Dianne Feinstein’s absence

His excerpt of the conversation reads:

'No, I haven’t been gone,' she said.


'You should follow the—I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working.'

When asked whether she meant that she’d been working from home, she turned feisty.

'No, I’ve been here. I’ve been voting,' she said. 'Please. You either know or don’t know.'

Newell went on to point out the problem with Feinstein's remarks. "After deflecting one final question about those, like Rep. Ro Khanna, who’ve called on her to resign, she was wheeled away," he wrote.

"It is true that Feinstein has been in Washington and voting for the past week, while coming to committee hearings on a need-to-be-there basis," he wrote, later pointing out, "But it is not true that she had been 'here,' in a physical sense, for the two-and-a-half-month stretch between February and last week. It was odd for that to skip her mind."

Some lawmakers have also noted the concerning aspect of Feinstein's absence.

But despite the opposition Feinstein has faced, some Republican lawmakers have verbalized their support for her. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is one of them.

“There’s one job that no one else can do for us, which is to vote,” Blumenthal said. “And she’s been doing that job in the last few days, and so far as I can tell, she’s been doing well.”

READ MORE: Susan Collins helps sink hopes of replacing Dianne Feinstein on Judiciary Committee

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