Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) said on Sunday that he was unable to unequivocally deny that he has ever placed a hand on a woman’s butt.
“I can’t say that that hasn’t happened. I take thousands and thousands of pictures, sometimes in crowded chaotic situations, I can’t say that I haven’t done that. I am very sorry if these women experienced that,” Franken told Minnesota TV station WCCO when asked if he had ever placed a hand on a woman’s butt.
Franken’s answer came after a lengthy back-and-forth with WCCO’s Esme Murphy. When first asked about the allegations, Franken apologized for his behavior.
“I’m a warm person and I hug people, and in some of these encounters, the pictures or meetings, some women — and any is too many — have felt that I have crossed a line, and I am terribly sorry about that,” he said.
Murphy noted that women accused him of grabbing or cupping their butts and asked, “When you grab somebody’s butt, don’t you know it?”
“I understand that. And I am going to have to do everything I can going forward to be enormously sensitive. I apologize to these women,” Franken replied, adding that he wants to “better understand the woman’s experience.”
Murphy followed up, “Are they mistaken that their butt was grabbed? Is that what you are saying?”
“I am not saying that,” the senator responded. “As I said, I take thousands of photos, so I don’t remember these particular photos.”
Franken later said that he regrets that he made women “feel disrespected.”
Murphy then noted his use of the word “disrespected” and told Franken that he was accused of molesting a woman.
“I understand that, and again, I say that I respect her experience,” Franken replied.
Watch the full interview via WCCO: