Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) appeared to be surprised by a statement released by her office about her retirement.
Savannah Behrman of the National Journal reported on an exchange Feinstein had with reporters following the release of the statement.
“I haven’t made that decision. I haven’t released anything,” Feinstein said.
A staffer then said, “We put out the statement.”
Feinstein replied, “You put out the statement? I didn’t know they put it out.”
Behrman noted, after listening to the audio, Feinstein could have said, “I should have known they put it out.”
CORRECTION: After relistening audio, it sounds like she said, “I *should have* known they put it out.”
— Savannah Behrmann (@SavBehrmannDC) February 14, 2023
The statement was released Tuesday, saying, “I am announcing today that I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends.”
The statement explained Feinstein would focus on “passing common sense legislation to fight the epidemic of gun violence, preserving our pristine lands, and promoting economic growth.”
It continued, “I’m confident we can achieve these goals because we’ve done it before.”
The statement concluded, arguing, “Even with a divided Congress, we can still pass bills that will improve lives. Each of us was sent here to solve problems. That’s what I’ve done for the last 30 years, and that’s what I plan to do for the next two years. My thanks to the people of California for allowing me to serve them.”
Feinstein is notably the longest-serving woman in Senate history.
Politico pointed out Feinsten has also “delivered for California in ways that have drawn less attention beyond the state, including an act protecting millions of acres of desert in southern California.”
Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA), who worked as a staffer for Feinstein in the 1990s, told Politico, “It would be impossible to write the history of California politics, it would be impossible to write the history of American politics without acknowledging the trailblazing career of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.”
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