Former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken says he “absolutely” regrets resigning in 2017 amid pressure over sexual misconduct allegations made against him by several women.
The “Saturday Night Live” alum made the admission to The New Yorker magazine in an article released Monday, wherein a slew of his fellow Democrats now say, in retrospect, they were wrong to ask for Franken to step down.
What are the details?
Franken gave up his seat in disgrace in 2017 after eight women stepped forward claiming he forcibly kissed them or otherwise touched them inappropriately. When asked by The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer if he regrets his decision to resign, he answered, “Oh, yeah. Absolutely.”
The former lawmaker explained that now, “I can’t go anywhere without people reminding me of this, usually with some version of, ‘You shouldn’t have resigned.'”
Six current and former Democratic senators told The New Yorker they were wrong for asking Franken to leave office over the allegations. Sens. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Tom Udall (N.M.) and former Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.) all expressed their regret to the magazine.
Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine) emphasized that he’d “regretted it ever since” calling for Franken’s resignation.
“There’s no excuse for sexual assault,” King said. “But Al deserved more of a process. I don’t denigrate allegations, but this was the political equivalent of capital punishment.”
After detailing the remorse of the seven senators who now wish Franken were still serving in the Upper Chamber despite their past statements, Mayer went on to poke holes in the allegations made against Franken by his first accuser, radio host Leeann Tweeden.
But others have poked holes in Jane Mayer’s reporting. Earlier this year, Mayer wrote a piece accusing Fox News of intentionally holding off on reporting the Stormy Daniels story, a claim vehemently denied and evidenced by the former executive named in the article.
As The Daily Wire‘s Ashe Show points out, Mayer previously joined Ronan Farrow in chronicling uncorroborated claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but “now Mayer appears to have changed her tune when it comes to accusations against powerful men, at least powerful Democrats.”
In promoting her Franken piece on Twitter, Mayer wrote, “Almost NOTHING His Main Accuser Said checks out: the Case of Al Franken.”