Feinstein Says Trump Can Become Good President, Blasts ‘Stupid’ Arpaio Pardon

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein drew jeers and boos Tuesday night when she urged Democrats and supporters in San Francisco to show “patience” with President Donald Trump rather than seek his impeachment.

Feinstein also criticized Trump’s decision to pardon a controversial Arizona sheriff, calling it “a stupid thing to do.”

The San Francisco Democrat shocked her hometown attendees at the Commonwealth Club event when she told the audience they should prepare to see Trump complete a four-year term and he could be a good president if he “can learn and change.”

“I think we have to some patience,” said Feinstein. “This man is going to be president, most likely, for the rest of this term. 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 was interviewed by former congresswoman Ellen Tauscher at Herbst Theater in San Francisco. She told the crowd she’s not giving up on Trump, and that he can still put his ego aside and become the strong leader the country needs.

When asked about the pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Feinstein said Trump’s pardon sent a message to police departments around the United States “that racial profiling is OK.”

On the topic of a border wall with Mexico, Feinstein said she believes Americans would rather send aid to Texas flood victims than pay for a border wall.

Feinstein also said it would be “irresponsible” for her to speculate about impeaching President Trump, since as a member of the Senate she would have to serve as a juror deciding his fate at an impeachment trial. She demurred when asked by former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher about investigations of Trump by both the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, on which Feinstein sits.

“There are some things that could happen that I don’t think it would be responsible for me to talk about here,” said Feinstein. “We’re looking at documents, which is a nice word for saying evidence.”

The 84-year-old Senator said both Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will be called to testify soon.

Feinstein refused to answer a question about her future, but she has indicated she is likely to run for another term next year.

A handful of protesters outside the event were critical of Feinstein, and many inside, even those who support her, said they were disappointed by her attitude about President Trump.

 

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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