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Top Democrats refuse to stand by Feinstein after she praised GOP handling of Barrett hearings

October 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Democratic US Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks during a press briefing about the recent FBI investigation into US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 4, 2018. - Top Democrats on Thursday denounced the latest FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh as "incomplete" and "limited." "It looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation that was limited, perhaps by the White House, I don't know," Feinstein said. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday pointedly refused to say if they supported California Sen. Dianne Feinstein staying in her post as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sidestepping questions about the veteran party elder after she praised Republicans' handling of the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

(CNN)Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday pointedly refused to say if they supported California Sen. Dianne Feinstein staying in her post as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sidestepping questions about the veteran party elder after she praised Republicans' handling of the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Feinstein's comments, praising Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham last week after four days of confirmation hearings, infuriated Democrats and liberal activists who had been seeking to mount a unified attack over proceedings they deemed a sham.

Two progressive groups, including the abortion-rights lobby NARAL, demanded she be removed as the top Democrat on the committee, while GOP leaders have repeatedly highlighted her comments as they race to get Barrett confirmed eight days before Election Day. On Tuesday, the top two Senate Democrats would not say if they had confidence in Feinstein.

Democrats were particularly incensed at Feinstein's remarks at the end of the hearings, where she turned to Graham and said: "This is one of the best set of hearings that I've participated in. " She shook Graham's hand and later hugged the Republican, who is battling in South Carolina to survive reelection in one of the toughest Senate races of his career.

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