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Dianne Feinstein forgets conversations, gets upset with staff: report

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  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein forgets conversations and gets upset with her staff for not briefing her on a topic moments after they do, according to a new report from the New Yorker.
  • The US Senator from California is said to be struggling with her short-term memory, even forgetting things she herself has said, sources familiar with the situation told the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.
  • Feinstein, the oldest sitting US Senator, has had her mental capacity questioned recently.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein forgets conversations and gets upset with her staff for not briefing her on a topic moments after they do, according to a new report from the New Yorker.

The US Senator from California is said to be struggling with her short-term memory, even forgetting things she herself has said, sources familiar with the situation told the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.

One person described a meeting in which Feinstein’s staff struggled to explain a policy proposal to her that she could not understand, referring to the situation as a “Kabuki” meeting, a reference to a highly stylized form of Japanese drama.

Sources told Mayer the situation has been hard on Feinstein’s staff, and that the senator also gets frustrated when she is unable to follow. Though Mayer also reported some former aides said the issue has been overblown.

Feinstein, 87, is the oldest sitting senator. Her age has drawn attention in the past, with some people on Twitter criticizing a moment during a Senate hearing last month in which she asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey the same question twice, seemingly without noticing.

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The senator also announced last month that she would step down from her position as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, though she did not say why she was stepping down. The announcement also came amid backlash from progressives who said she was not aggressive enough in the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

The New Yorker report also said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had told Feinstein to step down from the post twice, because she had forgotten the first conversation they had about it.

Feinstein’s office did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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