Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had a dinner meeting with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, Politico Playbook reported Thursday morning—a move even the left-leaning media outlet called “unusual.”
Feinstein’s staff told Politico the meeting, which took place a few weeks ago, was “in consultation with the State Department” but it was not at State’s request that she go.
"The office was in touch with State in advance of the meeting to let them know it was happening and to get an update on U.S.-Iran activity," the California Democrat’s office said.
OF COURSE, the United States and Iran are in the middle of a high-wire diplomatic and military staring contest. The United States has moved additional military resources into the region, and has indicated it has intelligence that the Iranians were readying to attack American interests in the region.
IT'S A BIT UNUSUAL THAT FEINSTEIN, the former chair and vice chair of the Intelligence Committee and a member of the Senate minority, is dining with the foreign minister of an adversary.
WE HAVE REACHED OUT to the White House to see if they had anything to say about this, and they did not respond to two emails seeking comment. (Politico Playbook)
Politico reported last week that she was seen around the Capitol with Zarif’s contact information visible on her phone.
Spotted ??: Sen. Dianne Feinstein walking around the Capitol with her iPhone screen facing outward in full view, and Javad Zarif’s contact page on the screen. (Zarif is the name of Iran’s foreign minister.)— POLITICO (@politico) May 16, 2019
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan briefed lawmakers on Tuesday on their strategy to push back against "Iran's malign activity."
Shanahan told reporters the administration’s goal “is to prevent Iranian miscalculation,” adding, “We do not want the situation to escalate.”