Several female Democratic senators, within a span of minutes, all called on their Democratic colleague Al Franken (Minn.) to resign following a seventh accusation that he made improper sexual advances towards women.
Politico reported Wednesday that a former Democratic congressional aide claimed she was forcibly kissed by Franken while he was still a radio host. Later that morning, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) was the first to call for the Minnesota senator’s resignation in a Facebook post.
“While Senator 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,” she argued.
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) was next, tweeting, “Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside.” Hirono added that she “struggled” with the decision because of her friendship with Franken, “but that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
Sen. Clare McCaskill’s (D., Mo.) tweet on the issue was short and to the point.
Al Franken should resign.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2017
“It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign,” tweeted Sen. Maggie Hassan (D., N.H.).
“Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere,” tweeted California’s Kamala Harris. “I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.”
“I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior,” wrote Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.). “It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time. It’s time for him to step aside.”
“I believe it is best for Senator Franken to resign,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.) added.
Following the female senators’ statements, their male counterparts also began to voice their agreement Wednesday afternoon.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) was reported to say, “I believe the time has come fro Sen. Franken to step aside.”
This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.