Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Partial ranscript: Sen. Al Franken announces his resignation

Partial ranscript: Sen. Al Franken announces his resignation

US Senator Al Franken said Thursday he will resign in the face of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against him, becoming the second prominent Democrat to be forced out in a week over the snowballing harassment allegations convulsing the country.

Franken's resignation follows calls from his Democratic colleagues to do so.

"Enough is enough", fed-up New York Sen.

The stream of allegations against the former comedian began last month when a female radio newscaster accused him of an unwanted sexual advance, and said he groped her as she slept. Tweeden said that Franken groped her breasts and kissed her without her consent in 2006 while they were performing together in a USO tour for military members in the Middle East.

"Serving in the United States Senate has been the honor of my life", Franken said, choking up as he read his remarks, and vowing to stay active in public life. I don't respect men who don't.

"I would do it all over again in a heartbeat", he said.

Several lawmakers who knew Franken well have said they were "shocked and disappointed" to learn that there was such a stark contrast between his political advocacy for women and his alleged private behavior. But this moment of reckoning about our friends and colleagues who have been accused of sexual misconduct is necessary, and it is painful. "Others I remember very different".

This isn't over. The women who made the original allegations are nearly certain to speak out further. But in responding to their claims I also wanted to be respectful of the broader conversation, because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously.

Once a rising star in the Democratic Party, Franken made the announcement in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor.

"I am leaving while a man bragged on tape about his history of the sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party", he said. "I am confident he will make the right decision". He drew attention to the continued Republican support of the president, as well as Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Minnesota Democratic Reps. Tim Walz and Collin Peterson both called for Franken to resign, as did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Under Dayton's reported plan, Smith would serve only as a placeholder until a special election - held in November 2018 - which would give the people of Minnesota the opportunity to elect someone to serve the remaining two years of what was supposed to be Franken's six-year term.

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