Nancy Pelosi reportedly blamed ‘the left’ and sexism for intense scrutiny of Dianne Feinstein’s health

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

  • Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed “the left” for the intense scrutiny of Sen. Feinstein’s health.
  • She also suggested sexism was at work: “If she were a guy, you wouldn’t even hear about it.”
  • In recent weeks, the aging California senator has been flanked by Pelosi’s daughter.

As scrutiny of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s health continues, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — a longtime ally and friend of the senior California senator — sees sexism and “the left” as a key driver.

According to a new CNN report, Pelosi — who continues to represent a San Francisco-area district in the House — stopped to complain to a reporter about a recent story about Feinstein, blaming “the left” for how Feinstein has been treated.

She went on to complain of a sexist double standard, reiterating comments she made in April when Feinstein first began facing calls for her resignation amid a lengthy absence from the Senate due to a shingles infection

“If she were a guy, you wouldn’t even hear about it. You wouldn’t even hear about it. You know it, and I know it,” said Pelosi, adding that she wouldn’t “name important senators who were chairs of committees” who had also experienced significant decline while in office. The interaction reportedly happened within earshot of several aides and reporters.

Pelosi went on to say that “yes, I do” believe that Californians were being adequately represented by Feinstein, despite questions about her short-term memory and cognitive decline.

The former House Speaker is not alone in arguing that Feinstein has been the victim of sexism; several Senate Democratic women told Insider in April that calls for the California Democrat to resign were sexist.

“I think the standard she’s being held to is unacceptable and unprecedented,” said Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at the time.

But while calls for Feinstein’s resignation have generally been concentrated among a group of progressive House Democrats, others have also made clear their desire to see Feinstein go, including moderate Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota.

“I’m disappointed that so many people who share the same sentiment in private conversations are simply unwilling to share them publicly,” Phillips told Insider in May. “There’s political cost to speaking the truth, and frankly, political reward for staying quiet. And that’s what we call perverse incentives.”

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