(Headline USA) Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., seemed to forget in an interview this week that she had been away from the Capitol for more than three months due to health setbacks.
Feinstein, 89, returned to the Senate this month after being hospitalized for shingles treatment in February. When asked about the reception she received from her colleagues upon her return, Feinstein denied that she had been away.
“No, I haven’t been gone,” Feinstein said. “You should follow the — I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working.”
When the reporter asked if Feinstein meant she had still been working remotely, Feinstein insisted that she had been present for all Senate votes.
“No, I’ve been here,” she said. “I’ve been voting. Please. You either know or you don’t know.”
Diane Feinstein—who is facing questions about her mental acuity—tells a reporter she was never l absent from the Senate. https://t.co/4Np0UmlG4b pic.twitter.com/8Vmr3D5pg1
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) May 16, 2023
Feinstein told reporters that she is “feeling fine” but has a “problem with the leg”. When asked what was wrong with her leg, Feinstein said, “Nothing that’s anyone’s concern but mine.”
The California Democrat has come under pressure from members of her own party in recent weeks to resign given her ongoing health problems. Her extended absence from the Senate prevented Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee from confirming President Joe Biden’s judicial appointments, leading to frustration among members of leadership.
Feinstein’s decline has been well-documented since at least 2020, when the New Yorker reported that she relied entirely on her aides to do her job for her. Her short-term memory was so bad that she “often forgets she has been briefed on a topic, accusing her staff of failing to do so just after they have,” the outlet reported at the time.
The publication also reported that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tried to have several “painful” conversations with Feinstein about resigning, but she quickly forgot any talks had taken place.
Feinstein revealed earlier this year that she does not intend to seek reelection next year, but will not resign in the meantime.