New Yorker staffer writer Jane Mayer published a story Thursday citing people familiar with Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein‘s current situation saying her apparent cognitive decline has been “evident for several years.”
Those familiar with the senator’s current state told the New Yorker that Feinstein, 87, has been “seriously struggling” and that her short-term memory “has grown so poor that she often forgets she has been briefed on a topic, accusing her staff of failing to do so just after they have.”
During a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Big Tech, then-ranking member Feinstein asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey the same question twice. Dorsey answered the question the same way the second time she asked it.
Feinstein’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.
The mental fitness of other aging politicians, including President-elect Joe Biden, President Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have also been questioned.
Feinstein, who was first elected in 1992 as one of California’s first two female senators, has mostly stayed out of the limelight until the Judiciary Committee hearing flub.
The senator announced on Nov. 23 that she would not seek reelection to keep her role as the top Democrat on the committee after receiving criticism over her handling of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation.
Former aides told Mayer that rumors of the senator’s cognitive decline are exaggerated, while others familiar with her situation say it has been ongoing and that she gets upset when she forgets something.
“The staff is in such a bad position,” one former Senate aide told Mayer. “They have to defend her and make her seem normal.”
Another aide working for a different Democratic senator told Mayer that Feinstein is “an incredibly effective human being, but there’s definitely been deterioration in the last year. She’s in a very different mode now.”