Speed Reads

'I put in the hours'

Dianne Feinstein 'rather puzzled' by reports of deteriorating mental acuity

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board on Thursday evening, after a report published earlier in the day called into question her mental fitness for office, the Chronicle writes.

"I meet regularly with leaders," Feinstein said, in defense of her performance. "I'm not isolated. I see people. My attendance is good. I put in the hours. We represent a huge state. And so I'm rather puzzled by all of this."

The senator also said she has no plans to step down before the end of her term, which runs through the end of 2024.

On Thursday morning, the Chronicle shared the accounts of multiple Feinstein colleagues, who worry the 88-year-old lawmaker's short-term memory is deteriorating. Those interviewed also raised concerns about her resulting ability to represent the massive state of California. 

Feinstein declined to be interviewed for that article, the Chronicle said. 

In her call with the board, Feinstein said no one had discussed such concerns with her directly.

"No, that conversation has not happened," she said. "The real conversation is whether I'm an effective representative for 40 million people."

The New Yorker published similar reporting on Feinstein's short-term memory in 2020.