Dem senator: 'Distraction' to call for Franken's resignation

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Kavanaugh fight roils an already ugly political climate Dem senator: Judiciary Committee doing 'railroad job' against Kavanaugh accuser MORE (D-Hawaii) said Tuesday it is a "distraction" to call for Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenNelson campaign to donate K from Al Franken group to charity Sexual assault is not a game — stop using women to score political points Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE’s (D-Minn.) resignation following allegations that he groped two women without their consent.

“I think that that is a distraction to be talking about resignation, because what’s really at the bottom of this whole issue of sexual harassment is that it is pervasive in our culture,” Hirono said on MSNBC's "MTP Daily."

Two women have accused Franken in the last week of groping them without their consent. Radio broadcaster Leeann Tweeden said Franken kissed and groped her while the two were on a USO tour in 2006, before Franken was elected.

Lindsay Menz on Monday alleged Franken groped her during a photo op in 2010.

Franken has apologized for both incidents and has agreed to cooperate with a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.

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Most lawmakers have called for an ethics investigation into Franken. Hirono said Tuesday she believes it’s appropriate to let the investigation play out. 

“I’m glad that this is coming to the fore now because myself and every woman that I know has endured sexual harassment of one sort or another,” Hirono said. 

“I hope that we’re reaching some kind of tipping point in our country that this kind of behavior not only is acknowledged but comes to an end,” she added.

She then attacked President Trump, who on Tuesday downplayed allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

“He denies it. He totally denies it,” Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving to Florida for Thanksgiving.

Trump himself was accused of sexual harassment during the presidential race and was caught on tape talking about groping women and kissing them without their consent. Trump has denied the allegations of harassment from multiple women.

“It’s not surprising to me that one liar is standing up for another liar," Hirono said Tuesday of Trump’s defense of Moore.