Apparently, Al Franken believes apologizing and saying he’s “embarrassed and ashamed” can offset his outed sexual abuse.
The embattled Democrat Senator continues to refuse to step down while his rhetoric suggests an attempt to minimize what he did.
As reported by the StarTribune
Sen. Al Franken broke his eight-day silence Sunday, reaching out to Minnesota media outlets to talk about what he’s done, and what he’ll be doing next.
“I’m embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve let a lot of people down and I’m hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust,” said Franken, who has kept a low profile since four different women shared accounts of being groped, embarrassed and, in one case, forcibly kissed by the Minnesota Democrat.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow,” he added in a phone interview.
Franken, who said he has posed for “tens of thousands of photos” over the years, says he does not remember any that ended with his hand sliding down to cup women’s backsides, as several have alleged.
“I don’t remember these photographs, I don’t,” he said. “This is not something I would intentionally do.”
Franken said he has spent the past week “thinking about how that could happen and I just recognize that I need to be more careful and a lot more sensitive in these situations.”
Asked whether he expects any other women to step forward with similar groping allegations, Franken said: “If you had asked me two weeks ago, ‘Would any woman say I had treated her with disrespect?’ I would have said no. So this has just caught me by surprise … I certainly hope not.”
Franken has been communicating with his constituents and the media mainly through terse written statements since Nov. 16, when Los Angeles radio broadcaster Leeann Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 holiday USO war zone tour. Her #metoo tweet was accompanied by a photo of Franken, months away from launching his Senate bid, mugging for the camera with his hands hovering suggestively over her chest as she slumped, apparently asleep, on a military transport.
Franken skipped the rest of that Thursday’s Senate votes and retreated from public view as the Senate adjourned for the weeklong Thanksgiving recess. In the days that followed, three other women reached out to national media with accounts of uncomfortable encounters with Franken.
Lindsay Menz told CNN that Franken grabbed her buttocks while they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State fair in 2010 — an encounter she documented on social media at the time. Two other women shared anonymous accounts of similar with Huffington Post. One woman said Franken groped her as they posed for a photo at the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus in 2007. Another said Franken cupped her backside with his hand and suggested the two of them visit the bathroom together at a Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis in 2008.
“I know I have a lot of work to do to regain the trust of the people I’ve let down, the people of Minnesota, my friends and colleagues, everyone who counts on me to be a champion for women,” Franken said.