Washington CNN  — 

A plane from the president’s military fleet carrying the body of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, accompanied by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, arrived in San Francisco on Saturday evening.

Feinstein, who shared a long friendship with Pelosi, a fellow California Democrat, died Thursday night following months of declining health.

“With Dianne, it’s obviously official, it’s political, and it’s very personal,” Pelosi, the former speaker of the House, said Sunday.
“She was my neighbor, my friend. My family loved her personally, politically, in every way. We used to always say, if Dianne and I ran against each other, my daughter Nancy would probably vote for Dianne. That was the love that existed,” Pelosi told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

A former mayor of San Francisco, Feinstein was a leading figure in California politics for decades and became a national face of the Democratic Party following her first election to the US Senate in 1992. She broke a series of glass ceilings throughout her political career and had a major influence on some of Capitol Hill’s most consequential works in recent history.

D. Ross Cameron/AP
Mourners, including her daughter Katherine Feinstein, left, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, second from right, and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gather at San Francisco International Airport to receive the body of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in San Francisco.

Pelosi’s daughter, Nancy Corinne Prowda, supported Feinstein as she recovered from shingles in May, and Feinstein’s daughter, Katherine, was in the Senate gallery with Pelosi on Friday as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer paid tribute.

“She loved people,” Pelosi said Sunday. “She loved California. She loved America. And to bring her home in the grand way that we did – thank you, President Biden; draped in the flag – she was such a patriot,” Pelosi added.

Feinstein and Pelosi both have history-making legacies.

Feinstein, who was the longest-serving female US senator in history, had a career marked with several historic firsts, including becoming the first female mayor of San Francisco and California’s first woman sent to the US Senate. Pelosi made history as the first and so far only woman to be speaker of the US House of Representatives.

This headline and story have been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Casey Gannon contributed reporting.