Dianne Feinstein, the senior U.S. Senator from California, had been absent from the Senate for 10 weeks. She did not vote on any legislation or participate in any hearings during that time.
But she appeared to have no recollection of her recent — and lengthy — absence from Washington, D.C. During a recent interview she scolded a reporter who mentioned her time away and claimed that she had been “here, voting.”
The reporter asked the senator about her recent return to the Senate and whether her colleagues had offered much in the way of well-wishes, and the interview took a turn.
“What have I heard about what?” Feinstein asked.
“About your return,” the reporter prompted.
“I haven’t been gone. You should … I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working,” Feinstein insisted.
“You’ve been working from home is what you’re saying?” the reporter attempted to clarify.
“No, I’ve been here. I’ve been voting. Please, either know or don’t know,” Feinstein said, and brought the interview to an abrupt close.
Feinstein is 88 years old. She is the oldest sitting U.S. Senator. She has been in the Senate since 1992.
In recent years, Feinstein has been criticized for her age and her declining mental faculties. She has been accused of making gaffes and forgetting names.
In 2018, Feinstein was accused of mishandling classified information. She was found to have kept a letter from the FBI director about the investigation into then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Feinstein has denied that she is suffering from dementia or any other cognitive impairment. She has said that she is “sharp as a tack” and that she is “not going anywhere.”
However, her absence from the Senate has raised concerns about her ability to continue serving. Some conservatives are calling for her to resign.
“It’s time for Dianne Feinstein to step down,” said Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union. “She’s clearly not up to the job.”
WOW! Feinstein was asked about her colleagues response to her return. She says “I haven’t been gone” When pressed whether she meant working from home she got feisty and says no I’ve been here (DC) ive been voting” 🤦🏻♂️ ✌️ https://t.co/eOr7pW6xRS pic.twitter.com/9ahrdTFKjr
— SpaceShot76 (@Spaceshot76) May 16, 2023