Several Democrat women senators, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) called on Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign as he faces another accusation of sexual assault. The calls came late Wednesday morning after Politico published a claim by yet another woman that Franken forced her to kiss him. A former Democratic congressional aide said Al Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, three years before he became a U.S. senator.
Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women. (thread)
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 6, 2017
It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign.
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) December 6, 2017
Al Franken should resign.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2017
The aide, whose name POLITICO is withholding to protect her identity, said Franken (D-Minn.) pursued her after her boss had left the studio. She said she was gathering her belongings to follow her boss out of the room. When she turned around, Franken was in her face. The former staffer ducked to avoid Franken’s lips. As she hastily left the room, she said, Franken told her: “It’s my right as an entertainer.”
I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior. It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time.
It’s time for him to step aside.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) December 6, 2017
Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) December 6, 2017
I believe it is best for Senator Franken to resign.
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) December 6, 2017
“He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked,” the aide said in an interview. “I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer.’” The former staffer, who was in her mid-20s at the time of the incident, said she did not respond to Franken.”…
I agree with my colleagues who have stepped forward today and called on Senator Franken to resign. We can’t just believe women when it’s convenient.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) December 6, 2017
Joe is calling for Senator Franken to resign. pic.twitter.com/ff5i1rnhJs
— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) December 6, 2017
I have listened to them. I have listened to my female colleagues, to women I work with and women in my life. And I agree the time has come for Senator Franken to step aside.
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) December 6, 2017
Franken’s downfall started three weeks ago with the release of this photo of him molesting a sleeping Leeann Tweeden on a USO tour. Tweeden also accused Franken of forcing her to kiss him. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, posted to Facebook her call on Franken to resign
We must commit to zero tolerance – which is where I believe we as a country and Congress should be – and that means Senator Franken should step down. Full statement: pic.twitter.com/4qrZB0mBTo
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) December 6, 2017
Republican @SenatorCollins joins chorus calling for Franken to step down: “I think it would be best for the Senate if he followed the advice of his Democratic colleagues and resign”
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) December 6, 2017
Excerpt: “While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve.” Gillibrand was followed by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sen. Claire McCaskill, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).