Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) pushed back Wednesday following an intense scene at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Iowa on Tuesday where supporters launched into roaring “lock her up” chants over the senator’s handling of the accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“It’s part of his technique of division,” Feinstein told IJR when asked about Tuesday night’s raucous rally. “Rather than uniting people in this great country in a common purpose, you divide them.”
The night before, Trump jumped into his now-familiar takedown of Feinstein, ripping her denial of leaking Christine Blasey Ford’s letter that accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, which elicited the crowd to erupt into a chant normally reserved for Hillary Clinton.
“How about Sen. Feinstein? That’s another beauty. [Boos]. That’s a beauty. ‘Did you leak the documents?’ She goes, ‘No,’” Trump said before chants of “lock her up” broke out.
“I think they’re talking about Feinstein, can you believe it?” Trump added, seemingly egging on his supporters.
Feinstein, the first woman to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, admitted to IJR that she was “surprised” that the president seemed to encourage his supporters in their chants aimed at her.
“And I was surprised that he singled me out for a personal letter I received,” Feinstein said.
“This wasn’t anything that was covert or classified,” she said, “it was a personal letter that I received from a woman that talked about a sexual attack and asked me to keep it confidential.
“And in my life, a lot of women have talked to me about this kind of thing, as a matter of fact, and I have always kept it confidential,” she continued. “And I did until she was ready. Because you can’t do that to women.
“You can’t take something confidential and then release it because they are not ready,” Feinstein added, defending her handling of the situation.
“This is such a big, traumatic event,” she said.