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Bucking pressure, Feinstein, 87, says she isn’t leaving US Senate anytime soon

Democrat insists her cognitive abilities haven’t diminished after stepping down from top post on Judiciary Committee to focus on climate change

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., questions Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, and Jack Dorsey, Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Facebook and Twitter's actions around the closely contested election on Nov. 17, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., questions Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, and Jack Dorsey, Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Facebook and Twitter's actions around the closely contested election on Nov. 17, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

JTA — US Senator Dianne Feinstein has no plans to leave the Senate, she told Gerald Skelton, a sympathetic Los Angeles Times columnist, in an interview posted Thursday.

“I don’t feel my cognitive abilities have diminished,” she said.

The longtime Jewish senator, who is 87, last month said she would not seek to keep her influential spot as top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said she preferred to focus on climate change, which she said is posing grievous dangers to California, where an intense season of wildfires added to the state’s pandemic woes.

That didn’t stop pressure on her to leave the Senate after reports that her mental acuity is diminishing have surfaced. Also, a photo of her hugging the committee chairman, South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham, after contentious confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett sparked controversy.

Feinstein, in office since 1992, is set to serve through 2024, when she will be 91.

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