"I was the lucky one," says former House Rep. Jane Harman of Los Angeles after she revealed that she had a 5 p.m. meeting with Senator Dianne Feinstein at her home in Washington D.C. Thursday.
"I saw her at 5 p.m. yesterday at her home. We had a one-hour private meeting. I came by to say hi and to talk about what we could be doing next together, and we did talk about that," Harman tells MSNBC today. "Dianne seemed in good health. Frail, as she has been for a while, but acute, talking about how she wanted to start doing, with me, some dinners for women in Washington."
Harman adds, "I got the hug and the kiss that so many, sadly, on the Senate floor have missed," and she shared a photo of her with the senator that was taken by Feinstein's housekeeper before she left. "She obviously literally worked to her dying day to have such an impact on this country."
Feinstein passed away later Thursday night, though the exact circumstances of the death have not been reported. On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin said of Feinstein "She didn’t feel well this morning," explaining why she did not attend a meeting of the committee. But Feinstein did participate in one last vote at the Senate, as The Hill reports: She voted "yes" on a motion to proceed to a funding bill to keep the government from shutting down.
House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that she was "heartbroken" over the loss. "Dianne was a pioneering woman leader, who served as San Francisco’s first female Mayor with unmatched courage, poise and grace,” Pelosi said. "In the United States Senate, she was a champion for the Golden State: bringing home billions of federal dollars while defending our state’s natural wonders, [and her work helped] stem the tide of mass shootings."
"Her indomitable, indefatigable leadership made a magnificent difference for our national security and personal safety, the health of our people and our planet and the strength of our democracy," Pelosi said.
The tributes and statements of mourning continue to pour in.
President Joe Biden said Friday morning that Senator Feinstein was a "cherished friend," and a "true trailblazer."
"There’s no better example of her skillful legislating and sheer force of will than when she turned passion into purpose, and led the fight to ban assault weapons," President Biden said. "Dianne made her mark on everything from national security to the environment to protecting civil liberties."