The Latest: Franken says he ‘let a lot of people down’
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and accusations he groped women (all times local):
Democratic Sen. Al Franken says he knows he “let a lot of people down” — the people of Minnesota, colleagues and staff — in the face of sexually inappropriate behavior. He’s vowing to regain their trust.
Speaking outside his Senate office, Franken told reporters on Monday that many people counted on him to be a champion for women. Instead, he is embarrassed and is apologizing after one woman alleges Franken forcibly kissed her on a USO tour and took a sexually suggestive photo while she was sleeping.
Three other women allege Franken grabbed their buttocks while posing with them for photos during separate campaign events in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Franken dismissed any talk of resigning from the Senate. He said he would cooperate with an Ethics Committee investigation.
Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken says it’s too early to decide whether he’ll run for a third term in 2020.
Three women allege Franken grabbed their buttocks during campaign events; a fourth woman says Franken forcibly kissed her during a 2006 USO tour.
Franken tells The Associated Press that he’s focused on returning to work on Monday and that he’ll work to regain voters’ trust. Franken initially avoided the public eye when allegations first surfaced earlier this month.
Franken still disputes Leeann Tweeden’s account of a forced kiss, calling it a “normal rehearsal” for a skit the two were performing. And he says he never intentionally grabbed or squeezed a woman’s buttocks.
But he says he’s taking responsibility and says it’s important “that we listen to women.”
Sen. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat accused of groping women without their consent, says he doesn’t remember if he ever touched a woman inappropriately while photos were being taken.
Three women allege Franken grabbed their buttocks during separate incidents at campaign events. A fourth woman says Franken forcibly kissed her on a USO tour.
In an interview aired by CBS Monday, Franken says: “I take thousands and thousands of pictures, sometimes in chaotic and crowded situations. I can’t say I haven’t done that. I’m very sorry if these women experienced that.”
Franken added that he has to be “a lot more careful” when he meets someone: “I’m going to make sure that this does not happen again.”
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says he’s “embarrassed and ashamed” amid sexual misconduct allegations, but says he plans to continue his work in Congress.
The Democrat says he’ll return to work Monday after spending the holiday with his supportive wife and family. Franken missed votes after the first accusations were made public.
Franken tells Minnesota Public Radio he’s trying to handle allegations “in a way that adds to an important conversation.” He says his goal is “to be a better public servant and a better man.”
Los Angeles radio news anchor Leann Tweeden released a photo showing the then-comedian reaching out, as if to grope her, while she slept on a military aircraft in 2006. Franken says the photo is “inexcusable.”
Three other women say Franken grabbed their buttocks during photos ops. Franken says that isn’t something he’d intentionally do.