Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sparred with Republicans during Thursday's hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh over questions of who leaked a letter written by a woman who accused him of sexual assault to the media.
Feinstein was asked directly if she or a member of her staff leaked Christine Blasey Ford's letter earlier this month, which kicked off a media frenzy that led to Thursday's hearing with Ford and Kavanaugh separately answering questions.
"Let me be clear: I did not hide Dr. Ford's allegations," Feinstein said. "I did not leak her story, and she asked me to hold her letter confidential, and I kept it confidential as she asked. She apparently felt that she was forced to come forward, and her greatest fear was realized. She was harassed, and she has had death threats, and she's had to flee her home."
Feinstein was then challenged by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to provide more to the story.
"Can you tell us that [your] staff did not leak it?" Cornyn said.
Feinstein replied, "I don't believe my staff would leak that. I haven't asked that question directly."
A member of Feinstein's staff then leaned forward and reminded her Feinstein did ask her staff, or at least that person, if they had leaked it.
"The answer is no," Feinstein said. "The staff did not."
"I'm telling you, I did not. I was asked to keep it confidential. And I'm criticized for that, too."
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