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Grassley explains comments about women serving on Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October American Bar Association dropping Kavanaugh review Clinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request MORE (R-Iowa) explained his comments about the lack of female senators serving on the Judiciary panel in a Fox News interview Saturday.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 McConnellGraham: I hope Dems 'get their ass kicked' for conduct around Kavanaugh Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' 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 PelosiElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP strategist says Trump could want border wall fight to continue to excite base McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' 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 TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE's Supreme Court nominee.

"Is it still All About Eve? Trump blames Dr. Ford. Grassley blames Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Pollsters: White college-educated women to decide if Dems capture House Trump, Feinstein feud intensifies over appeals court nominees American Bar Association dropping Kavanaugh review 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.