Grassley explains comments about women serving on Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Grassley signs USMCA, sending it to Trump's desk | Union membership falls to record low | Manufacturers want Trump tax provision made permanent | Warren presses banks on climate plans PhRMA spent record-high million on lobbying in 2019 Grassley signs USMCA, sending it to Trump's desk MORE (R-Iowa) explained his comments about the lack of female senators serving on the Judiciary panel in a Fox News interview Saturday.

The Republican chairman was criticized on Friday after he told reporters that the committee's heavy workload was one reason why more female senators may choose not to serve on the committee.

“It’s a lot of work — maybe they don’t want to do it,” Grassley said Friday. “My chief of staff of 33 years tells me we’ve tried to recruit women and we couldn’t get the job done.”

“We have a hard time getting men on the committee. It’s just a lot of work whether you’re a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter,” he added later, clarifying his remarks.

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Grassley told Fox's Dana Perino on Saturday that his remarks had been misunderstood by Democrats, who responded to his remarks on social media.

"What I should have done, in one sentence I should have said [that] we even have a hard time getting men to serve on this committee," Grassley said Saturday afternoon.

"In fact, I think three men are serving on this committee only because the leader asked them to," Grassley added, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum No. 2 GOP leader eyes Wednesday of next week for possible votes on witnesses MORE (R-Ky.).

"It's not something whether you're male or female. There really is a lot of work on the committee, there's more controversy to it, and it's more politically and ideologically divided than most committees. And a lot of people, man or woman, don't want to get mixed up with that," he said.

Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSekulow indicates White House not interested in motion to dismiss impeachment articles Overnight Health Care: Trump restores funding for Texas program that bars Planned Parenthood | Trump to attend March for Life | PhRMA spent record on 2019 lobbying Key House committee chairman to meet with Mnuchin on infrastructure next week MORE (D-Calif.) targeted Grassley for his comments Friday.

Grassley's words came after weeks of criticism over the Judiciary panel's handling of sexual assault accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE's Supreme Court nominee.

"Is it still All About Eve? Trump blames Dr. Ford. Grassley blames Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Biden wins endorsement of Sacramento mayor Roberts under pressure from both sides in witness fight MORE & says Republican women can’t handle the Judiciary committee workload. Really? It’s 2018. A new day is dawning. Women marched, women are running, women will win," Pelosi tweeted Saturday morning.

Kavanaugh's nomination advanced the Judiciary panel in a party-line vote last week, and is expected to pass the full Senate in a vote on Saturday.