During a Monday radio interview with KQED’s Scott Shafer, Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein discussed the election results and what’s in store for the road ahead with President-Elect Donald Trump.
Shafer asked Feinstein if she was shocked by the results of the election, and she suggested that from the beginning, she did not rule out Trump’s chances at winning. “What happened was people went for this coarse rhetoric and forgot all about the policies,” she explained.
The two unpacked many of the controversies surrounding the election, including Trump’s use of Twitter to reach many of his supporters and critics.
Feinstein said of the President-Elect’s Twitter use, “I don’t think it’s helpful every time he’s offended by something, he tweets.”
Because Clinton won the popular vote, Feinstein notes that the mandate is with her.
Feinstein suggested, “Why doesn’t he tweet some things that bring people together, that are helpful? After all, he does not have a mandate. The mandate is with Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s just, she did not win the dispositive vote, which is the Electoral vote, which many believe skews our system.”
Vox reported on Trump’s mandate that “mandates are about legitimacy rather than about power. When presidents need to come up with a justification for their use of power, when they are expanding or defending the boundaries of the office — that’s when mandates come into use.”
But it’s unclear whether Trump has or needs that, with the backing of a Republican Congress. Trump has maintained the narrative that he holds public support throughout his campaign, however, the public overwhelmingly voted for Clinton.
Even so, as Vox noted, “Presidents use mandate rhetoric in an effort to reshape the political reality that confronts them. They do this especially when they are dealing with criticism, divisions, and challenges to their use of power.”
Feinstein added, in regards to Trump’s early nominees for his cabinet, “They don’t represent all of the people. They’re basically very right-wing.” She said, “I’m extraordinarily concerned about what’s happening.”
Listen to the interview in full below.