Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who several women have accused of sexual misconduct, on Sunday said he is “embarrassed and ashamed” but is “looking forward to getting back to work” in the Senate on Monday.
“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,” Franken told the Star Tribune. “I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow.”
Four women have accused Franken of unwanted touching and other forms of sexual harassment. Radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Franken earlier in November of forcibly kissing her and groping her while she was asleep during a USO tour in 2006. Two women told HuffPost last week, on condition of anonymity, that Franken groped them in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Lindsay Menz last week accused Franken of groping her in 2010, a year after he took office.
Franken told the Star Tribune that he has posed for “tens of thousands of photos” and does not “remember these photographs.”
“This is not something I would intentionally do,” he said.
Franken said he has been “thinking about how that could happen.”
“I just recognize that I need to be more careful and a lot more sensitive in these situations,” he told the Star Tribune.
Asked whether he expects more women to come forward with accusations, Franken said, “I certainly hope not.”
“If you had asked me two weeks ago, ‘Would any woman say I had treated her with disrespect?’ I would have said no,” he said. “So this has just caught me by surprise.”