21 November 2018

US senator resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations

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Senator Al Franken said Thursday he would resign "in the coming weeks" as pressure mounted on the liberal icon over sexual misconduct allegations. reports citing AA.

Dozens of his Democratic Senate colleagues called for his resignation Wednesday, including the ranking Democrat, Chuck Schumer.

“Enough is enough,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said.

The stream of allegations against the former comedian began last month when a female radio newscaster accused him of an unwanted sexual advance, and said he groped her as she slept. Leeann Tweeden said the incidents occurred during a 2006 U.S.O. tour, and a photograph appears to corroborate her claim of groping.

Shortly after Tweeden came forward, Franken issued an apology that said, “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t.

“And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed,” he said. “The truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories.”

Since then a half-dozen women have accused Franken of sexual impropriety.

Addressing the Senate Thursday, the Democrat was apologetic for any misconduct, but maintained that some of the charges against him are "simply not true. Others I remember very differently.

“I know who I really am,” he said. "But in responding to their claims I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation, because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously.”

Franken said he was keenly aware of the "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 this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota.”

During the final days of last year's presidential race, an audio recording was released in which President Donald Trump was heard explicitly bragging about grabbing women's genitalia, but he secured America's highest office nonetheless after apologizing.

Trump has since gone on to support Alabama judge Roy Moore who is running for the Senate amid a torrent of sexual assault allegations, some of which come from women who charge him with assaulting them when they were minors.

Moore has denied the accusations, but Trump's endorsement as well as the support of most of the Republican Party for the accused child molester has drawn fierce criticism.

Franken is the latest powerful man to fall from grace after the #MeToo movement encouraged women to come forward with their stories of sexual misconduct.

2017.12.07 / 22:15
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