Senator Dianne Feinstein holds town hall meeting in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Senator Dianne Feinstein was heckled at a town hall meeting in San Francisco today.
In a rare public forum, the crowd at the Scottish Rite center told the senior senator that she wasn't doing enough to stand up to President Donald Trump.
One heckler got particularly unruly during Feinstein's answer to a question on the U.S. attack on Syria, using profanities and screaming, "Stand up!! Stand up and be counted for God's sake!!"
Feinstein stood her ground and kept her cool, saying, "If you want me to speak then you're going to have to let me speak," to which she was met with resounding applause.
"Kick him out! Kick him out!!" chanted the crowd. One man yelled, " When you take all the time, we don't get any!"
The auditorium was nearly packed, most in the audience were Feinstein constituents. Many were with a group called "Indivisible SF" or ISF and held up agree or disagree signs depending on how they felt about what Feinstein was saying at that moment. Many ISF members expressed their anger and frustration with nearly 84 year-old senator. They said Feinstein hasn't been vocal enough in the opposition against President Trump.
"Will you take a stand right now and call him what he is? dishonest? Incompetent and corrupt?"asked one woman from the crowd.
Feinstein said her staff was investigating the President on ethics violations. "Whether we can, in fact," said Feinstein, "deny certain federal payments for business trips of his sons to take money and that kind of things."
The crowd cheered loudly in support of the Trump investigation and for Feinstein's pledge to push for limits on corporate money for elections and a tax on carbon emissions. But there was a chorus of boos and jeers for Feinstein's so-called lack of support for single payer healthcare.
Senator Feinstein referred to North Korea as the number one problem in the world, calling Kim Jong Un "more ruthless than any existing leader on earth."
"North Korea is an acute danger for us. They are in the process of building an intercontinental ballistic missile which will be able to hit anywhere in the U.S." she said.
"Dianne Feinstein's foreign policy has been an abysmal failure," said Cynthia Papermaster with Indivisible SF. She toted a sign supporting Congresswoman Barbara Lee to take Feinstein's senate seat. "I don't feel the Democrats would lose anything by doing what the population of the U.S wants them to do. We want out of these wars!"
Moderator and former SF Supervisor Bevan Dufty said Feinstein can't be too vocal against Trump because she sits on both the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee.
"I think we will see action but I think she has to be measured as to what she can say in a public setting," said Dufty.
Senator Feinstein has another town hall meeting scheduled in Los Angeles this week, she promised to hold another town hall this summer here in San Francisco. Her term is up next year, but she refused to say whether she was running for re-election.
KTVU reported that the heckler seen in our live noon TV report "appeared to be a member" of Indivisible SF. ISF members have told KTVU that he is not a member and that ISF, "worked very hard to get this town hall and to prepare well-researched, thoughtful questions for the Senator. It was our members who suggested the ticket lottery system for questions so everyone at the Town Hall would have the opportunity to address the Senator. Several of our members also volunteered their time at the town hall, and we provided 'Agree', 'Disagree' and 'Thank You' signs to encourage non-disruptive response to the Senator's comments."