Sen. Al Franken issued a statement about recent allegations against him just after two more women came forward to accuse him of groping them a few years ago.
The Minnesota Democrat apologized to the people in his state in a statement on Thanksgiving Day, promising he was “committed to regaining their trust,” Fox News reported.
“I’m a warm person; I hug people,” Franken said. “I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of these encounters, I crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many.”
“I feel terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly,” he added, “and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again.”
Senator Al Franken issued a new statement Thursday on the newest allegations that he groped women: pic.twitter.com/vNqgyb5aAy
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 24, 2017
The Democrat lawmaker and former comedian issued the statement following an article published by The Huffington Post which featured claims by two women who allege Franken touched their buttocks during campaign events in 2007 and 2008.
The women, who spoke anonymously to HuffPost, join radio host Leeann Tweeden, who said Franken had kissed and groped her without her consent in 2006, and Lindsay Menz who claimed Franken groped her in 2010 while at the Minnesota State Fair.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 20, 2017
The first woman in the new HuffPost piece accused the Minnesota senator of groping her in 2007 while they posed for a photo in Minneapolis. The second woman told HuffPost that “Franken cupped her butt with his hand at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis, then suggested the two visit the bathroom together.”
The women reportedly did not know each other and were not familiar with each others’ stories, but each had told of their encounters privately for years. One of the women described Franken as “a serial groper.”
“Only two people have come forward, and people are saying that this is a right-wing conspiracy,” she said. “It’s not. I’m a liberal person. … I voted for him after this happened.”
Franken initially responded in a statement to HuffPost: “It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.”
“I can categorically say that I did not proposition anyone to join me in any bathroom,” he told HuffPost.
On Thursday, he appeared to be offering a different response.
“Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that,” Franken said, according to Fox News.
A Senate ethics investigation was announced over the alleged sexual misconduct as many have called for Franken to resign his seat, which he previously said he has no intention of doing.
“Men should be held to the same standards regardless of their politics,” one of the women accusers told HoffPost. “He’s an imperfect messenger for a progressive platform. He can’t claim to be ‘for women’ and also grope them.
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