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Progressive activists who have sought to address Sen. Dianne Feinstein face-to-face for months got what they wanted Monday as Feinstein held a town hall meeting in her hometown of San Francisco.
The most tense moment of the hourlong forum came when she answered an audience member's question about healthcare by saying she doesn't support efforts to move to a single-payer system.
Faced with boos, Feinstein said when it comes to a "total takeover" of healthcare by the government, "I'm not there."
One audience member called Feinstein a "sellout" as others joined in chants of "Single-payer now!"
But the event was mostly calm. One heckler who yelled at Feinstein repeatedly was quickly shouted down by other town hall participants. Questioners pushed Feinstein to make public statements condemning "fascists in the White House" and calling Trump "corrupt" and "incompetent."
"All of this takes a plan," Feinstein responded. "I'd be surprised if you found too many senators, if any, that have gotten more done.... I don't get there by making statements I can't deliver. I get there through some caution, some discussion, some smart help, good lawyers and we generally get where we're going."
At least several audience members held up signs reading "Retire Feinstein" as protesters outside urged her not to seek reelection.
Feinstein, who will turn 84 in June, has hinted that she will seek reelection. Asked about whether she'll run as she left the town hall, Feinstein told reporters, "You'll find out soon enough," according to the Sacramento Bee.
It was Feinstein's first hometown public town hall meeting since being elected to the Senate 25 years ago.
With Congress in recess this week, several California members are holding their own town halls, including one in Simi Valley on Tuesday with Rep. Steve Knight (R-Lancaster), one hosted by Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-San Pedro) on Wednesday and another with Sen. Kamala Harris on Friday in Los Angeles.