Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) responded to questions from reporters about her announced retirement on Tuesday by suggesting that she did not know her staff published the statement.
“I am announcing today 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,” Feinstein wrote on Twitter. “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,” she added. “My thanks to the people of California for allowing me to serve them.”
When asked about her decision to retire, Feinstein appeared confused by the question.
“I haven’t made that decision,” she told reporters. “I haven’t released anything.”
One of her staffers told her that they “put out the statement.”
“You put out the statement?” she reportedly responded. “I didn’t know they put it out.”
Feinstein on her retirement: “I haven’t made that decision. I haven’t released anything.”
Staffer: “We put out the statement.”
Feinstein: “You put out the statement? I didn’t know they put it out.”
— Savannah Behrmann (@SavBehrmannDC) February 14, 2023
“It is what it is,” she told reporters. “I think the time has come.”
The Senator then told reporters “It is what it is. I think the time has come.”
— Christian Hall (@christianjhall) February 14, 2023
Democrat candidates are already chomping at the bit to replace the 89-year-old, with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) having announced campaigns for the seat.