Grassley explains comments about women serving on Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive | Dems question IRS on new tax forms | Warren rolls out universal child care proposal | Illinois governor signs bill for minimum wage Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks 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 McConnellDems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle Sanders: 'Not crazy' about nixing the Senate filibuster McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump 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 Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism Dems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle Steve King asks for Congressional Record correction over white supremacist quote 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 TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE's Supreme Court nominee.

"Is it still All About Eve? Trump blames Dr. Ford. Grassley blames Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line 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.