Progressive Dem not backing down on calls for Feinstein’s retirement: ‘Look, end your service with dignity’

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) is continuing his calls for Sen. Dianne Feinstein to step down, telling MSNBC’s Alex Wagner that the 89-year-old California Democrat needs to end her service to her country “with dignity.”

“First, let me say, I admire her career,” Khanna said on Thursday. “She has had an extraordinary career. But it’s sad for anyone to see and it’s sad for her own colleagues to see.”

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Khanna’s comments follow a recent report from The New York Times revealing that Feinstein suffered more complications from her battle with shingles “than were publicly disclosed.”

The shingles “spread to her face and neck, causing vision and balance impairments and facial paralysis known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome” and “brought on a previously unreported case of encephalitis, a rare but potentially debilitating complication of shingles,” The Times reported. “Characterized by swelling of the brain, post-shingles encephalitis can leave patients with lasting memory or language problems, sleep disorders, bouts of confusion, mood disorders, headaches and difficulties walking.”

And that’s all on top of what many see as Feinstein’s dramatic cognitive decline.

The return of a frail Feinstein to the Senate was nothing short of shocking, leading some to say it looked as though she arrived at the Capitol in a hearse.

“I’m hopeful that people who are close to her can talk to her and just say, ‘Look, end your service with dignity. Step aside, let the governor appoint someone,'” Khanna told Wagner.

“I think for her own dignity, for her own career, for her own legacy, it would be good,” he said of a possible resignation from Feinstein. “It would be good for California.”

“It’s painful to watch,” he stated, and it’s time for those “who are close to her” to have a “loving conversation” about stepping down.

It’s a suggestion Khanna has been making for some time now. Indeed, he was the first member of Congress to call for Feinstein’s resignation.

In mid-April, the lawmaker wrote on Twitter that the iconic senator can “no longer fulfill her duties.”

“It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign,” Khanna tweeted. “We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.”

He later defended his position on MSNBC.

“We are not being able to confirm judges, every day that goes by, because Senator Feinstein is unable to be there,” Khanna argued. “I just think that, for the good of the country, for confirming these judges, let’s have someone who can vote.”

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To The Hill, Khanna said much the same thing: “While Senator Feinstein has had an extraordinary, distinguished career, she’s simply unable now to fulfill her duties.”

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The situation has only gotten worse since Khanna first expressed his desire for Feinstein to step down. On Tuesday, the senator appeared to think she had been at the Capitol all along.

“I’ve been here,” she told reporters when asked about her time away. “I’ve been voting.”

Even CNN’s Jake Tapper suggested the problems with Feinstein are too big to ignore.

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“Is she just refusing to resign?” he asked Khanna on Friday’s edition of The Lead. “Is she aware of her own health issues?”

“It’s a really sad situation,” Khanna replied.

“I don’t know the situation. I don’t know who’s making the decisions in that office,” the concerned lawmaker said. “I think they at the very least owe transparency, whether it’s her or someone on her staff to have a press conference to answer exactly what the truth is of her condition and her ability to do the job.”


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