Grassley explains comments about women serving on Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate Republicans face tough decision on replacing Ginsburg What Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies Biden says Ginsburg successor should be picked by candidate who wins on Nov. 3 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 McConnellObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy 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 PelosiPelosi: Ginsburg successor must uphold commitment to 'equality, opportunity and justice for all' Bipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Pelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor Ginsburg 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 TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE's Supreme Court nominee.

"Is it still All About Eve? Trump blames Dr. Ford. Grassley blames Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinMcConnell says Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg will get Senate vote Top Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence Intensifying natural disasters do little to move needle on climate efforts 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.