On Thanksgiving, Democratic Senator Al Franken issued another statement about his alleged sexual misconduct, reported AP. In the past few days, a total of four women have come forward, alleging he’s touched them inappropriately.
In his explanation, he promised to regain his constituents’ trust—something that is necessary given that his approval rating has dropped to 37 percent. His conclusion suggests that despite calls for his resignation, he isn’t contemplating that step.
Franken, a senator who was elected in Minnesota in 2008, faces a Senate ethics investigation for improper conduct towards women. His statement doesn’t seem to admit the misconduct, but he does acknowledge that women felt that his actions were offensive.
“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations,” he wrote. “I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women—and I know that any number is too many. Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that.”
He continued: “I’ve thought a lot in recent days about how that could happen, and recognize that I need to be much more careful and sensitive in these situations. I feel terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again. And let me say again to Minnesotans that I’m sorry for putting them through this and I’m committed to regaining their trust.”
The accusations against Franken has rocked the Left. However, Franken isn’t the only prominent men accused since Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by numerous women. Firings and admonishments have come against powerful men in politics, entertainment, media, and other institutions.
However, while Franken addressed the women who said he groped them, he did not address Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden. Last week Tweeden came forward to say Franken kissed her inappropriately during a 2006 USO tour.
At the time, the former “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer was still working as a comedian. Tweeden posted a photo of Franken with his hands above her chest as she slept wearing a flak vest aboard a military plane. Soon after the post, he apologized to her. However, this is quite clearly not a case of accidental friendliness.
Another woman, Lindsay Menz, said on Monday that Franken squeezed her buttocks in 2010 while posing for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair. Franken claimed he didn’t remember the picture. He did, however, express remorse that Menz felt “disrespected.” Two more women alleged in a Huffington Post story published Wednesday that Franken touched their buttocks during campaign events in 2007 and 2008.
Franken has not appeared in public since the first allegation. He canceled an event in Atlanta for his book “Al Franken, Master of the Senate.” According to aides, he is “spending time with his family and doing a lot of reflecting.”
What do you think about Franken’s apology? Let us know in the comments.
In other news, a Republican lawmaker gave his life while trying to save his brother-in-law. Please pray for his family.