A day after she was jeered at a town hall for suggesting President Donald Trump could become a “good president” if he would “change,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein issued a statement saying she is “under no illusion” he will.
“Look, this man is going to be President most likely for the rest of this term,” Feinstein said Tuesday at the town hall meeting at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. “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.”
Feinstein, 84, is up for re-election but has not formally said if she will seek another six-year term. She is also the top Democrat on the judiciary committee, which is investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russians during the 2016 presidential race.
Her comment drew a quick negative reaction from some audience members. In a video of the event, posted on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website, she is seen reassuring them.
“Yeah, I understand how you feel. I understand how you feel,” she said.
In her statement Wednesday, Feinstein said she hoped Trump would work to unite the country.
“The duty of the American president is to bring people together, not cater to one segment of a political base; to solve problems, not campaign constantly. While I’m under no illusion that it’s likely to happen and will continue to oppose his policies, I want President Trump to change for the good of the country,” she said.
Feinstein’s statement stressed that she has stood up against many of the controversial things Trump has said and done.
“During this tumultuous time, I’m working to protect the progress we’ve made and find a way to get things done for Californians during a period of total Republican control of Washington. I’ve been strongly critical of President Trump when I disagree on policy and with his behavior,” she said. “Most recently, I was appalled by his comments in response to Charlottesville and the pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. President Trump said that there were ‘very fine people’ in a crowd chanting ‘Jews will not replace us.’ There’s nothing ‘fine’ about white supremacists, Nazis or the KKK.”
An aide said that Feinstein issued the statement because her hopeful remark about Trump was overshadowing the many other critical things she said about him at the town hall.