Feinstein unaware staff had announced her retirement
"You put out the statement?" Feinstein asked staffers when questioned by reporters about retirement announcement.
California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she did not know that her staff had announced her retirement and that she had not made the decision to not run in 2024.
After announcing her retirement online Tuesday, Feinstein, 89, was recorded at a press gaggle saying: "Well, I haven't made that decision. I haven't released anything."
A staffer responded to her: "Senator, we put out the statement."
"You put out the statement?" Feinstein replied. "I didn't know they had put it out. So, it is what it is. I think the time has come."
National Journal reporter Savannah Behrmann said the recording sounded as if Feinstein said: "I should have known they put it out."
Feinstein's apparent confusion comes following reports of years of cognitive decline.
"Really, for the last couple of years, I've been hearing that Dianne Feinstein has been struggling, particularly with short-term memory issues, so that her staff will brief her and then she'll forget what she's been told or that she's been briefed at all," The New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer said in 2020.