Grassley explains comments about women serving on Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTop security officials issue stark warning of Chinese espionage efforts Lame-duck Congress should pass First Step Act The Hill's Morning Report — Takeaways from the battle royal in the Oval Office 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 McConnellMcConnell sets Monday test vote on criminal justice bill Senate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller won’t be ‘colored by politics’ in Russia probe 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force On The Money: GOP senator floats options to prevent shutdown | Republicans stunned by Trump shutdown threat | Schumer insists Dems won't budge on wall | Pelosi expects fierce fight over Trump tax returns | Trump warns GM won't be treated well after layoff Will Congress score headlines or legislative wins in next session? 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 TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE's Supreme Court nominee.

"Is it still All About Eve? Trump blames Dr. Ford. Grassley blames Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Dems urge Trump to continue nuclear arms control negotiations after treaty suspension Senate Intel leaders ask judge not to jail former aide amid leak investigation Dems demand Pompeo brief Congress on whether he discussed Assange with Ecuadorian official 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.