Adam Schiff ally slams Katie Porter over Senate announcement: 'Playing politics in the middle of a natural disaster'
Katie Porter/Office of Rep. Katie Porter.

Progressive California Rep. Katie Porter announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate this Tuesday, saying that her state "needs a warrior in Washington" who will stand up to powerful banking, oil and pharmaceutical interests.

Her announcement comes amid uncertainty over whether Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein -- the longest serving female senator at 89 -- will retire at the end of 2024.

In a statement responding to Porter's announcement, Feinstein said that she "will make an announcement concerning my plans for 2024 at the appropriate time."

“Right now I’m focused on ensuring California has all the resources it needs to cope with the devastating storms slamming the state and leaving more than a dozen dead," Feinstein said.

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As NBC News points out, Porter's early announcement beats some of her potential rivals to the punch, including Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Ro Khanna.

Schiff is already hitting back at Porter, with a source close to him telling NBC News that her announcement is coming at the worst possible time, as historic storms in California have claimed the life of more than a dozen people, destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced thousands.

“We are not going to announce in the middle of a natural disaster, and are surprised that others would do so,” the source said. “We’re not playing politics in the middle of a natural disaster that has left people dead.”

Khanna also took a shot at Porter, saying "California is facing severe storms and floods, and my district is facing historic weather conditions. My focus is on that. In the next few months, I will make a decision."

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Porter won re-election to a third term in November against a challenge from former Republican state Assemblyman Scott Baugh. Her upcoming campaign could face challenges due to accusations of racism against her as well as allegations of a toxic work culture.

Late last month, ex-staffer Sasha Georgiades, who is a Navy veteran and former Wounded Warrior fellow for Porter, alleged that the congresswoman made rude and racist comments to staff and said that she "ridiculed people for reporting sexual harassment." Georgiades also alleged that she heard Porter use racial slurs when talking to staff. As Fox News points out, Porter is currently facing scrutiny for leaked text messages showing her berating Georgiades for catching COVID-19.