Pelosi responds to report questioning Feinstein’s mental fitness to serve

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi defended Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) in a statement to KRON4 after reports questioning Feinstein’s mental fitness to serve.

Calling Feinstein “a workhorse for the people of California and a respected leader among her colleagues in the Senate,” Pelosi stated that the attacks on her fellow San Francisco Democrat are “unconscionable” and “ridiculous.”

“It is unconscionable that, just weeks after losing her beloved husband of more than four decades and after decades of outstanding leadership to our City and State, she is being subjected to these ridiculous attacks that are beneath the dignity in which she has led and the esteem in which she is held,” Pelosi stated.

Pelosi’s comments come after the San Francisco Chronicle published an exclusive story on April 14. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, lawmakers and former Feinstein staffers claimed the Golden State’s senior senator is in the midst of a mental decline.

Feinstein stated in response that the last year has been difficult considering the death of her husband, Richard Blum, but said she is still delivering for the people of California.

“I’ll put my record up against anyone’s,” Feinstein stated.

Pelosi defended Feinstein, saying “she is constantly traveling between California and the Capitol, working relentlessly to ensure Californians’ needs are met and voices are heard. Her leadership was essential in strengthening and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which was enacted just last month. As a senior Member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Feinstein played a leading role in confirming the President’s historic nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and has been an unsurpassed leader in the fight against gun violence.”

KRON4 reached out to Feinstein’s office and received the following statement from the senator:

“I remain committed to do what I said I would when I was re-elected in 2018: fight for Californians, especially on the economy and the key issues for California of water and fire. While I have focused for much of the past year on my husband’s health and ultimate passing, I have remained committed to achieving results and I’d put my record up against anyone’s.

“In the past few months, I successfully led the reauthorization of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act, secured more direct government funding for my state than any other Democratic senator other than the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and secured additional funding to retain federal firefighters to help California prepare for the upcoming wildfire season. The real question is whether I’m still an effective representative for 40 million Californians, and the record shows that I am.”

Bay Area Rep. Ro Khanna also responded to a request from KRON4 regarding Sen. Feinstein.

“This type of rumor mongering is disrespectful to Senator Feinstein’s lifetime of public service and, frankly, ageist and cruel at a time when she just lost her husband. I have a more progressive vision than her, but I have found her to be engaged with constituents who have met her recently such as members of the Building Trades. Let’s stick to talking about issues that can improve Californians’ lives,” said Rep. Khanna.

Pelosi began serving in the US House of Representatives in 1987, when Feinstein was mayor of San Francisco. Feinstein has been a US senator from California since 1993. This is not the first time reports have emerged questioning her mental fitness to serve.

KRON4 has reached out to other local lawmakers for comment and will continue to update this story.

Ann C. Toledo

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