- Thomson Reuters
- Al Franken resigned from the Senate on Thursday.
- The Minnesota Democrat had been accused by several women of forcible kissing and groping.
- In his speech announcing his resignation, he cast blame on President Donald Trump and embattled GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who have also been accused of sexual misconduct.
Sen. Al Franken announced his resignation from the US Senate on Thursday following several allegations of sexual misconduct.
In his speech on the Senate floor, Franken said he was “upset” by the allegations that he groped and forcibly kissed multiple women, and denied and contested the veracity of some of the accusations.
“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 that respects the women I work alongside every day,” he said. “I know there has been a very different picture of me painted in the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.”
He also pointed out that several prominent Republicans, including President Donald Trump and GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, had rebuffed calls to step aside despite numerous allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against them.
“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault is 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,” Franken said.
Both Trump and Moore have dismissed numerous reports of sexual misconduct leveled against them, and have criticized the outgoing Minnesota senator.