Capitol Alert

Trump gives Feinstein a re-election gift

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is the newest target of President Trump’s Twitter rage, and it couldn’t be better news for the California Democrat.

Trump lashed out at Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wednesday morning, after she unilaterally released a transcript of testimony from the founder of the firm behind the infamous Trump dossier.

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson sat for 10 hours of interviews with the committee staff in August, but until Tuesday, the panel’s Republican leaders had kept the transcript private.

“The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace,” Trump tweeted. “Must have tough Primary!”

If anything, Trump’s name calling only helps Feinstein in her 2018 primary race. The consensus-minded senator has drawn flak from liberals in California for not taking a tough enough stand against the president in the past. In particular, her remarks last August suggesting Trump could still be “a good president” sparked outrage among liberals.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León launched a primary challenge against Feinstein in October, hoping to ride that anger to an upset victory in November. Because of the state’s top-two primary system, where the top two finishers advance to the general election, de León is poised to be Feinstein’s general election opponent as well.

In recent months, however, Feinstein has stepped up the pressure on Trump and his White House, launching her own parallel investigation to the one Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is conducting into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.

In a statement accompanying the release of the Simpson transcript Tuesday, Feinstein said “the American people deserve the opportunity to see what (Simpson) said (about the dossier) and judge for themselves.”

“The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice,” Feinstein continued.

Provoking a Twitter attack from the president only feeds the narrative that she’s getting tough on Trump. And in deep blue, Democrat-dominated California, that’s just the kind of image Feinstein wants to cultivate as she seeks to win yet another term this fall.

Emily Cadei: 202-383-6153, @emilycadei

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