Six female Democratic senators call for Al Franken to resign
Sens. Gillibrand, Hirono, McCaskill, Murray, Hassan and Harris say fellow Democratic Senator Al Franken should step down following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Seven female and two male Democratic senators on Wednesday called for Sen. Al Franken to resign in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct complaints made against the Minnesota lawmaker.
Sens. Claire McCaskill, Maggie Hassan, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patty Murray, Mazie K. Hirono, Kamala Harris, Debbie Stabenow and Tammy Baldwin all called for Franken to step down.
The women did not mince words.
“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,” Harris, D-Calif., said.
"I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.”
– Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Hassan tweeted, “It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign."
Pennsylvania’s Sen. Bob Casey became the first male Democratic male senator to call for Franken to step down.
“I agree with my colleagues who have stepped forward today and called on Senator Franken to resign,” Casey tweeted. “We can’t just believe women when it’s convenient.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown said he has “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.”
Franken’s political career has been in peril since California radio broadcaster Leeann Tweeden posted a blog detailing how the Democratic senator kissed and groped her without her consent in 2006.
Tweeden posted a blog detailing the alleged incident and also tweeted a picture of what seems to be a grinning Franken standing over her as she sleeps, pretending to grab her breasts.
Franken has since apologized but other allegations from five additional women have surfaced since Tweeden’s claims.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote on Facebook that while 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."
More allegations also emerged Wednesday, with a woman accusing Franken of forcibly trying to kiss her – this time after a taping of his radio show in 2006.
The woman, who spoke to Politico, claims the Minnesota Democrat pursued her after her boss had left and she was collecting her things. The woman was in her 20s at the time.
The accuser, who was not identified, said Franken tried to kiss her but that she ducked. Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" performer who was a host on the now-defunct "Air America" radio network at the time, allegedly followed up by telling her it was his “right as an entertainer.”
“He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me,” she told Politico. “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.