December 07, 2017 10:01 AM
With more than half of his Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Senate calling for him to resign, Sen. Al Franken's office says he will have an announcement on Thursday.
Minnesota Public Radio reported that Franken plans to resign, citing comments from an anonymous Democratic official who said he spoke with both Franken and his staff. However, Franken's official Twitter account responded to the MPR report with a message saying that he had not made a final decision.
In Tweets, Facebook posts, and interviews, 27 Senate Democrats said Franken, a two-term senator, should step aside after a fresh allegation that he forcibly tried to kiss a woman in 2006.
The top Senate Democrat, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, was among those calling for Franken's resignation. In a brief statement on Wednesday afternoon, Schumer said: "I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately."
Franken's Minnesota colleague, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, is not on the list of those calling for his resignation. A statement from her office said Klobuchar had spoken with Franken Wednesday morning, but did not detail what she said to him.
Sexual harassment is unacceptable. This morning I spoke with Senator Franken and, as you know, he will be making an announcement about his future tomorrow morning. I am confident he will make the right decision.— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) December 6, 2017
Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp are among the 11 women and 16 men calling for Franken's resignation.
I believe it is best for Senator Franken to resign.— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) December 6, 2017
I think the time has come for Senator Franken to step down— Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) December 6, 2017
Sexual harassment is unacceptable. I believe Senator Franken should do the right thing and resign.— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) December 6, 2017
Baldwin had previously said she supported a Senate ethics investigation into his behavior.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote on social media that while Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, "I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn't acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve."
As elected officials, we should be held to the highest standards—not the lowest. The allegations against Sen. Franken describe behavior that cannot be tolerated. While he’s entitled to an Ethics Committee hearing, I believe he should step aside to let someone else serve.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 6, 2017
The full list of Democratic Senators calling for Franken's resignation includes:
Sexual harassment and misconduct are never acceptable. I understand Senator Franken will make an announcement tomorrow morning, and I'm confident he'll do the right thing and step aside.— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) December 6, 2017
I have listened to them. I have listened to my female colleagues, to women I work with and women in my life. And I agree the time has come for Senator Franken to step aside.— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) December 6, 2017
Senator Franken’s actions are disturbing, egregious, and demonstrate a pattern of serious misconduct and abuse. It is time for Senator Franken to resign from office.— Sen. Maria Cantwell (@SenatorCantwell) December 6, 2017
Al Franken has been a friend to many in the Senate – Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike – but these allegations are deeply troubling, especially as the number has grown. I believe it's time for him to resign.— Senator Tom Carper (@SenatorCarper) December 6, 2017
I agree with my colleagues who have stepped forward today and called on Senator Franken to resign. We can’t just believe women when it’s convenient.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) December 6, 2017
Joe is calling for Senator Franken to resign. pic.twitter.com/ff5i1rnhJs— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) December 6, 2017
I am deeply disappointed by Senator Franken’s behavior. He must step aside. My full statement here: https://t.co/Ad0L8WC0Fr— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) December 6, 2017
Senator Franken’s behavior was wrong. He has admitted to what he did. He should resign from the Senate.— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) December 6, 2017
It’s clear the American people don’t look lightly on these kinds of actions, no matter who they’re committed by, and the number of complaints against Senator Franken is a concern. I think resignation is the right thing for him to do.— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 6, 2017
It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign.— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) December 6, 2017
Senator Franken needs to step down and we all need to do more to make clear that sexual harassment and assault are unacceptable.— Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) December 6, 2017
We must commit to zero tolerance – which is where I believe we as a country and Congress should be – and that means Senator Franken should step down. Full statement: pic.twitter.com/4qrZB0mBTo— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) December 6, 2017
Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women. (thread)— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 6, 2017
Al Franken should resign.— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2017
I join my colleagues in calling for Senator Franken to step aside and resign. Sexual harassment is unacceptable, completely inappropriate and cannot be tolerated.— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) December 6, 2017
Senator Franken has said he will make an announcement tomorrow, and I hope that he will do the right thing. It is in the best interest of our country for him to step aside.— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) December 6, 2017
I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior. It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time.— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) December 6, 2017
It’s time for him to step aside.
Senator Franken should send a strong message that sexual misconduct is unacceptable in any setting and step down.— Tom Udall (@SenatorTomUdall) December 6, 2017
I expect that Senator Franken will announce his resignation tomorrow. It is the right thing to do given this series of serious allegations.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) December 6, 2017
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Updated: December 07, 2017 10:01 AM
Created: December 06, 2017 11:02 AM
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