Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is blaming a "bad cold" for the sloppy way she released a transcript of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's hearing with the founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson. The cold, she said, "slowed down my mental facilities."
Feinstein's come under criticism for not informing the rest of her committee she planned to unilaterally release the transcript, apparently at the urging of Fusion GPS (even as the firm is technically a target of her committee's investigation). In an op/ed last week for the New York Times, Simpson called for the release of the transcript. Today Feinstein also said she was "pressured" to release them, but then later released another statement that she "misspoke" and was not pressured after all. Feinstein conceded she should have told the ranking member of the committee, Chuck Grassley, she planned to release the transcript.
The California senator is also coming under criticism for working with Fusion GPS to redact large sections of the transcripts -- which would appear to undercut the argument the release was done in the name of transparency.
“The one regret I have is that I should have spoken with Senator Grassley before," Feinstein told reporters Wednesday. "And I don’t make an excuse, but I’ve had a bad cold and maybe that’s slowed down my mental facilities a little bit."
But the lawmaker nonetheless defended her decision, saying Americans have a right to see the transcript.
"I think that the American people have a right to know," she said. "I don’t think there’s something that’s classified, I don’t think there’s anything that’s highly problematic. But at least it’s a clearing of the air so that the facts are out there.”