Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is once again being pressed to defend her ability to perform the job after a bombshell report raised new questions about her cognitive abilities.
In the wake of that New Yorker article and its assertion that Feinstein has been “seriously struggling” with short-term memory loss, the California senator addressed concerns in a brief comment this week, the New York Post reported.
“In such a bad position”
Individuals close to the 87-year-old senator reportedly told the New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer that Feinstein regularly forgets what she is saying moments after she speaks and accuses staff members of failing to brief her almost immediately after they have done so.
A former Senate aide asserted that Feinstein’s “staff is in such a bad position” by being forced to “defend her and make her seem normal,” Mayer reported.
Feinstein recently stepped down from her influential role as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at which time she had already addressed speculation that she was getting too old to effectively serve her constituents.
Such questions came in light of her behavior during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett in October, during which she provoked outrage from within her own party for appearing to concede too much credibility to the process, the New York Post reported.
The truly offensive gesture to a number of progressive Democrats was her decision to give Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) an embrace and praising him for presiding over “one of the best set of hearings” in which she had ever been a participant.
“As well as I possibly can”
After a startling moment during Feinstein’s recent questioning of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, renewed concerns immediately rose to the surface. Upon asking him one question about policies against misinformation posted to the platform, Feinstein asked him the same question again, apparently unaware that she was repeating herself, Fox News reported.
During Barrett’s nomination hearings, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reportedly “embedded” an aide to monitor the aging senator, according to Mayer.
Furthermore, a source said that when Schumer attempted to break the news to Feinstein that she needed to step down from the committee leadership position, it “was like ‘Groundhog Day'” in that he had to continually repeat himself because she forgot that he had already spoken to her.
If Feinsten finishes out her current term, she will be 91 years old. Addressing the situation in remarks on Friday, she did not indicate whether that remains her intention.
“I work hard,” she said, according to the New York Post. “I have good staff. I think I am productive. And I represent the people of Calfornia as well as I possibly can.”