Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) got caught in an awkward moment Tuesday when a staffer told her she had already announced her retirement in a statement. (Hear the audio below.)
Feinstein’s office issued the news release saying the veteran senator won’t run for reelection in 2024 but plans to finish her current term. The statement also listed her accomplishments since being first elected to the upper chamber in 1992.
But Feinstein, 89, whose apparent memory lapses have concerned colleagues, appeared confused when a reporter asked if she had any words for fellow senators after her retirement statement.
“Well, I haven’t made that decision. I haven’t released anything,” Feinstein responded in the audio clip.
“Senator, we put out your statement,” a staffer told the lawmaker.
“You put out the statement?” Feinstein replied. “I didn’t know they put it out. So, it is what it is. I think the time has come.”
A Feinstein spokesperson said the senator “approved it going out today, just confusion on timing,” Axios reported.
California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter have already announced their intentions to run for the seat.