"I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a Senator - nothing - has brought dishonor on this institution", he added, noting he was shocked at the allegations against him, and painting himself as "a champion of women". Franken denied the allegations, the website said. "I know there has been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am". Al Franken's Thursday announcement that he will resign following accusations of improper behavior were swift and varied, with Donald Trump Jr. immediately cackling over the development and actresses Bette Midler and Ellen Barkin lamenting Franken's decision.
In response to the claim, Franken said: "This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous".
"Serving in the United States Senate has been the honor of my life", Franken said, choking up as he read his remarks, and vowing to stay active in public life.
"We should demand the highest standards, not the lowest, from our leaders", she said.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's Facebook post sounded the opening salvo Wednesday, as she declared that the nation - and Congress - faced a "moment of reckoning" regarding sexual misconduct. The allegations against Sen. "We must not lose sight that this watershed moment is bigger than any one industry, any one party, or any one person". Four women described incidents that allegedly took place before Franken's election to Congress. "While he's entitled to an Ethics Committee hearing, I believe he should step aside to let someone else serve".
Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Chris Murphy (CT), Bernie Sanders (VT), and Patrick Leahy (VT) also issued statements or made comments to the press calling for Franken's removal. The right thing is for him to resign. And it is an important one. Half of the women who provided their accounts to various media outlets did so on the condition of anonymity. "This was about a time and place where people were finally having this conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace".
As political analysts - including CBS News Political Director Steve Chaggaris have pointed out - puts a spotlight on Republicans, as they determine what to do about Roy Moore, the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama who is accused of pursuing teenage girls when he was in his 30s.