The Latest: Franken says family continues to support him
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Al Franken (all times local):
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says his family is supporting him as he faces sexual misconduct allegations.
The Democrat spoke with a handful of Minnesota media outlets on Sunday. The interviews are his first since four women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Franken says he spent the holiday week at his daughter’s home in Washington with his wife, Franni, and their grandchildren. Franken says his wife has been his rock and he’s grateful his family members love him “unconditionally.”
Franken says he plans to return to work Monday and hopes to slowly regain voters’ trust. He says he’ll ask tough questions about proposed tax legislation that he believes “would affect Minnesota and the rest of the country in a terrible way.”
Three women allege Franken grabbed their buttocks during campaign photo ops years ago. Franken says he doesn’t remember the specific incidents but says he’d never intentionally grope anyone.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says he’s trying to handle sexual misconduct allegations “in a way that adds to an important conversation.”
The Democrat told Minnesota Public Radio on Sunday that he’s fully cooperating with a Senate ethics investigation after four women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Franken sidestepped questions about whether the allegations would make him less effective in the Senate or become a distraction for key Democratic issues. Franken said only that “this will take some time” and that he’s trying to “handle this in a way that adds to an important conversation.” He says his goal also is “to be a better public servant and a better man.”
He also says a photo showing him reaching out as to grope Los Angeles radio news anchor Leann Tweeden while she slept on a military aircraft was “inexcusable.” He declined to explain the incident any further but says he’s grateful Tweeden accepted his apology.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is telling a local newspaper that he plans to return to work on Monday and is “embarrassed and ashamed” by the groping allegations levied against him.
The Democrat spoke with the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday, marking his first interview since being swept into a nationwide tide of sexual harassment allegations.
At least four women have accused Franken of misconduct. Three of them say he grabbed their buttocks while taking photos with them during campaign events. Franken says he doesn’t remember the photos and that such groping is “not something I would intentionally do.”
Franken says he’s looking forward to returning to work in Congress. Franken missed votes after the first accusations were made public. He says he believes he can gradually regain voters’ trust.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is talking to a handful of Minnesota media outlets, marking his first interviews since the Democrat was swept into a nationwide tide of sexual harassment allegations.
The interviews are set for Sunday. Franken’s staff didn’t respond to repeated interview requests from The Associated Press.
At least four women have accused Franken of misconduct. The first was Los Angeles radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden. She released a photograph of the former comedian grinning while reaching out as if to grope her as she slept on a military aircraft during a USO tour in 2006.
Tweeden says Franken also forcibly kissed her while rehearsing for a USO skit, which Franken has disputed.
Three other women allege Franken grabbed their buttocks during political events.
Franken has said he apologizes to any woman who felt disrespected from their encounters.