“I am embarrassed. I feel ashamed.”
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) held a short press conference outside of his office to address the sexual misconduct allegations against him. He apologized profusely and promised to cooperate with the ethics committee. From Politico:
“It’s been clear that there are some women — and one is too many — who feel that I have done something disrespectful and it’s hurt them and for that, I am tremendously sorry,” Franken told reporters outside his Senate office. “I know that I am going to have to be much more conscious when in these circumstances, much more careful, much more sensitive, and that this will not happen again going forward.”
Franken stressed again during his news conference that he recalls some of the encounters differently, such as a 2006 incident in which Leeann Tweeden said he kissed her without her consent. But he added: “I feel that you have to respect women’s experience. And so I apologized to her, and I meant it.”
He also said he feels embarrassed and ashamed and swears to regain the trust of everyone. From The New York Times:
“I know that there are no magic words I can say to regain your trust,” the Minnesota Democrat said during a brief news conference outside his Senate office.
“I’m going to try to learn from my mistakes,” he added. “I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and I want to be someone who adds something to this conversation.”
Radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden claimed that Franken forcibly kissed her and groped her breast as slept in 2006 during a USO tour. A few days later, Lindsay Menz said that Franken grabbed her butt during a photo-op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
Last week, HuffPo published a report with claims from two anonymous females with similar cases to Menz’s. They said that Franken groped their butts at a political event and then suggested they all go to the bathroom.
Franken said that he did not remember touching women inappropriately, but said that he posed for “thousands of pictures.”
“From these stories it’s been clear that there are some women — and one is too many — who feel that I have done something disrespectful or that’s hurt them. For that, I am tremendously sorry,” Franken said.
Franken does not know if more people will come forward. As I blogged earlier today, Congress has returned from Thanksgiving break under pressure to do more about sexual harassment as fears grow more scandals will appear. CNN continued:
“If you had asked me two weeks ago would any woman come forward with an allegation like this I would have said no,” he said. “This has been a shock and it’s been extremely humbling. I am embarrassed. I feel ashamed. What I’m going to do is I’m going to start my job, I’m gonna go back to work.”
Franken also repeated his pledge that he would cooperate fully with a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his behavior.
Unlike Rep. John Conyers (R-MI) and Republican Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, Franken did exactly what he needed to do: Address the allegations head on and apologize. If you listen to and watch the press conference, his ton of his voice and body language, you get the inkling that he is sincerely sorry for his behavior and legitimately feels bad for hurting these women.DONATE
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