Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Friday said he spoke with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) before announcing his decision to run for her Senate seat next year.
In an interview with “CNN This Morning,” Schiff said Feinstein had been “gracious” and “welcoming” of his candidacy.
“We talked by phone a couple days ago and met earlier,” he said.
Feinstein told reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday she would finalize her plans “probably in a couple of months,” as she is still processing the death of her husband, who passed away last year. She added it was “fine” for people to get in the race.
“I think people should,” she said. “If they want to run, run.”
Feinstein, who has faced questions about her fitness to serve, would be 91 at the start of next term.
But Schiff suggested age shouldn’t necessarily determine whether a candidate runs.
“I think that age really depends on the capability of the member, and I don’t know that there is a specific age beyond which you shouldn’t run for office,” he said.
Feinstein is widely expected to retire.
Schiff, however, said Feinstein should be given the opportunity to make that choice herself.
“She’s earned the right to make the decision on her own timetable, and I want to give her the space and the distance to do that,” Schiff told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
The race for her seat is already heating up. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) became the first person to declare her candidacy earlier this month, earning a major endorsement from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is also reportedly mulling a run, and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) is considering jumping in too.
Schiff has often been a GOP target for his role as an impeachment manager in the first Senate trial of Donald Trump and then as a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced he wouldn’t allow Schiff and fellow Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) to serve on the House Intelligence Committee.
Trump called McCarthy’s decision a “great move.”
“These are two of the World’s true SlimeBalls!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Schiff pledged he will continue to fight for democracy despite GOP attacks.
“I’ve never backed down from these kind of difficult fights, and you know, sadly as long as Donald Trump is the leader of that party, then our values, our country, our democracy are going to be at risk,” he said.