During a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) announced he will resign from the US Senate in the coming weeks and noted the “irony” in him resigning while President Trump and Alabama Republican Senate nominee Judge Roy Moore remain.
Franken said that there has been a “long overdue” change in how we look at sexual misconduct, and the conversation eventually turned to him.
He then stated, “I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation. Because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously. I think that was the right thing to do. I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven’t done. Some of the allegations against me are simply not true, others I remember very differently.”
Franken added, “You know, an important part of the conversation we’ve been having the last few months has been about how men abuse their power and privilege to hurt women. I am proud that during my time in the Senate, I have used my power to be a champion of women, and that I’ve earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day. I know there’s been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.”
Franken declared that “in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.” Franken later added that he will continue to stand for his beliefs “as a citizen and as an activist.”
Franken then noted the “irony” that he is leaving while Trump, “who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault” and Moore, “who has repeatedly preyed on young girls” stay. He continued that he can’t represent his constituents in Minnesota while undergoing an ethics investigation.
He concluded, “[E]ven today, even on the worst day of my political life, I feel like it’s all been worth it. … I know that the work I’ve been able to do has improved people’s lives. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. For a decade now, every time I would get tired or discouraged or frustrated, I would think about the people I was doing this for, and it would get me back up on my feet. I know the same will be true for everyone who decides to pursue a politics that is about improving people’s lives, and I hope you know that I will be fighting alongside you every step of the way.”
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