Election 2020

Feinstein: Hillary 'Hurting' After 'the Name-Calling, the Email Intrusion'

Vice President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton attend a portrait unveiling ceremony for retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in Russell Building's Kennedy Caucus Room on Dec. 8, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said today that she took Hillary Clinton to dinner when the former presidential candidate was on Capitol Hill last week, and characterized the Dem nominee as “hurting” from not just the election results but the campaign itself.

Clinton spoke at the portrait unveiling for retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), along with Vice President Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“This is not exactly the speech at the Capitol I hoped to be giving after the election. But after a few weeks of taking selfies in the woods, I thought it would be a good idea to come out,” she quipped, referring to supporters who encountered her and President Clinton hiking near their Chappaqua home. “And I’m very grateful to Harry for inviting me to be a part of this celebration.”

In a speech that mostly praised Reid, Clinton took aim at the “epidemic” of fake news: “This isn’t about politics or partisanship – lives are at risk,” she said. “It’s a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly.”

Feinstein told MSNBC that while Clinton was in town, the two “had a very quiet dinner, just the two of us, in my hideaway, and I am extraordinarily fond of this woman, and I think it’s fair to say that she’s hurting.”

“She is brave. She is a real professional in the sense of her values, her care, her concern, and as I think all of us know who watched that campaign, it was a very hard campaign for her,” Feinstein said. “The name-calling, the email intrusion, the misinterpretation of what she had done with the e-mails, 11 hours in front of a committee while she was a candidate, and she stood up to it all.”

“And so I think she has a spine of steel and I think she’s going to come through this fine,” the senator added. “But I think this is really a tough time for a wonderful human being.”

Pelosi told MSNBC on Tuesday that “quite frankly” Clinton “was a lot better than I was” at the Reid event.

“Because just the reality of it hitting home by seeing her in person,” the minority leader said. “She was strong. As you know, she came forth and made not only a tribute to Harry, but a presentation about fake news. So she’s always about the future. She’s always about making it better for America’s working families, and how the news comes forth. How truth is told is very important to that.”