Franken resigns from US Senate after sexual misconduct claims

NEW YORK NY- MARCH 30  Comedian Al Franken performs at the Air America Radio Launch Party

Thos Robinson Getty

The list of Democrats calling for Franken to leave the upper chamber has grown to more than 30, with most taking to Twitter to announce their position on his resignation.

"We must commit to zero tolerance", Senator Heidi Heitkamp said in a tweet.

The first allegation against Franken - for which he has apologized - was made by sports broadcaster and former model Leeann Tweeden, who said he forcibly kissed her, and touched her without consent as she slept, during a 2006 tour entertaining U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan.

He also described himself as "a champion of women", but acknowledged that "all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously", and said he would resign in the "coming weeks". He gave ammunition to those who believe their accounts are part of a right-wing plot, and to the many who still think women who report harassment are vindictive harpies seeking to harm men.

It's pretty clear that Franken is resigning only under duress.

Addressing the Senate Thursday, the Minnesota Democrat was apologetic for any misconduct, but maintained that some of the charges against him are "simply not true". He says some of the allegations against him are false, while others he "remembers differently". "And that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day".

"I was shocked, I was upset, but in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation", Franken said. And a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the senate with the full support of his party. Republicans, who hold a 52-48 majority, are now on the hunt for a top-tier candidate in a politically competitive state where President Donald Trump lost by less than 2 percentage points a year ago, reported NBC News.

Moore has denied the accusations, but Trump's endorsement as well as the support of most of the Republican Party for the accused child molester has drawn fierce criticism.

Then on Wednesday, Politico reported a former Democratic congressional aide said Franken tried to kiss her forcibly in 2006.

The unexpected opportunity could be a "total game-changer in terms of control of the Senate", Republican strategist Alex Conant, a Minnesota native, told NBC News.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's Facebook post sounded the opening salvo Wednesday, as she declared that the nation - and Congress - faced a "moment of reckoning" regarding sexual misconduct.

"Over the last few weeks a number of women have come forward to talk about how my actions had affected them", said Franken.

Latest News