On Thursday, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) announced that “in the coming weeks,” he will be resigning — very reluctantly — after being rocked with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against women before he became a senator. The Saturday Night Live alum suggested he was stepping down to be “respectful” to the “broader conversation” that “all women deserve to be heard… and taken seriously.” Unless, of course, he is the accused. Franken stated, “Some of the allegations against me simply aren’t true. Others, I remember very differently.”
So, that’s most women deserve to be believed. Got it.
Franken went on to label himself a “champion of women” and proclaimed his innocence:
“An important part of the conversation we’ve been having over the last few months has been about how men abuse their power and privilege to hurt women. I am proud that during my time in the Senate, I have used my power to be a champion of women and that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day.
“I know there’s been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.”
Franken said as a senator, he has done “nothing” to bring “dishonor to this institution,” unlike some other people in politics:
“I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.”
But after talking about himself for a while, Franken said the decision was “not about me” but for his constituents. Minnesotans, he said, need an effective leader and Franken feels he can’t be the one to do that considering the circumstances.
Not to worry, though, the former funny man promised to continue being an activist and standing up for his beliefs. (Okay, so he’s still funny.)