Franks Says He’ll Resign In January Over ‘Discussion Of Surrogacy’ With Staff

Cliff Owen/FR170079 AP

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) on Thursday said he will resign from Congress in January 2018 after learning that the House Ethics Committee is reviewing a “discussion of surrogacy” Franks said he had with “two previous female subordinates.”

In a statement, Franks said he made the subordinates “feel uncomfortable.”

“I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress,” Franks said. “Rather than allow a sensationalized trial by media damage those things I love most, this morning I notified House leadership that I will be leaving Congress as of January 31st, 2018.”

Franks said he has “absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.”

“However, I do want to take full and personal responsibility for the ways I have broached a topic that, unbeknownst to me until very recently, made certain individuals uncomfortable,” he said.

Franks said he and his wife had twins via a “gestational surrogate.”

“I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others,” Franks said.

News outlets first reported that Franks was expected to resign Thursday afternoon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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