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Feinstein: Hurricane Recovery 'Takes the Place of the Wall' in Government Funding Debate

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, expressed “hope” that President Trump will be a “good president.”

She also predicted that the necessary funding for Hurricane Harvey recovery would replace the funding Trump wants for the southern border wall.

“You all know impeachment and the House brings the impeachment and then the Senate sits as a court and votes, and at the end there’s a trial in front of the Senate. I’ve kind of been there, done that; it’s not the greatest thing in the world, that’s for sure,” she said at a Commonwealth Club discussion moderated by former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) on Tuesday evening.

“Look, this man is going to be president, most likely for the rest of this term. I just hope he has the ability to learn and to change — and if he does, he can be a good president and that’s my hope. I have my own personal feelings about it. Yeah, I understand how you feel,” she added, in response to boos from the audience.

Feinstein, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, encouraged the public to be patient with Trump.

“I think we have to have some patience. I do. I mean, it’s eight months into the tenure of the presidency and it’s being buffeted by being rent asunder. It really is,” she said. “And we’ll have to see if he can forget himself and his feeling about himself enough to be able to really have the empathy and the kind of direction that this country needs. And if it doesn’t happen, there are things that could happen that I don’t think would be responsible for me to begin to speak about here.”

Tauscher shot back and criticized Trump for commenting on the crowd size during his visit to Texas after Hurricane Harvey swept through the state. “What a crowd, what a turnout,” Trump said to a few hundred people outside the Annaville fire station Tuesday.

“They were appreciative to see him, I think, so they applauded …when you say there are things missing in him, I think it’s heart and soul and things like that,” Tauscher said. “I can say that and I wouldn’t say that if I was still elected. I wouldn’t.”

Feinstein predicted that federal funding for the hurricane relief effort in Texas would “take the place” of addressing the Trump administration’s desire for U.S.-Mexico border wall funding when Congress returns from the summer break next week.

“There’s talk of the president using it to get the wall. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think Texas takes the place of the wall and I think America would much rather contribute their tax moneys to the rehabilitation of Texas and all that 1,600 square miles than another wall on our border,” Feinstein said.

Feinstein also said she voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement because it wasn’t a good deal for California. She agreed with the White House position of renegotiating the trade agreement.

“I didn’t believe it was a great deal for California,” she said of NAFTA. “There was a great sucking sound of pushing things into Mexico.”