Gillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign

Gillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign
© Stefani Reynolds

Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Warren hits Bloomberg, Steyer: They have 'been allowed to buy their way' into 2020 race Supreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday defended her call for former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Take Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact MORE (D-Minn.) to resign from the Senate following sexual misconduct allegations against him, saying that she "stood up for women who came forward."

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"If there are a few Democratic powerful donors who are angry because I stood up for women who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment, that's on them," Gillibrand said at an MSNBC town hall in Michigan. 

"I had a choice to make whether to stay silent or not, whether to say 'it's not OK with me,' and I decided to say that," she added, saying that she wanted to set an example for her sons. 

 

Gillibrand was the first senator to call for Franken's resignation in 2017 after eight women accused him of sexual misconduct. She has used her call for him to resign to raise funds for her campaign.

"I knew that calling on Al Franken to resign was a risk, but silence wasn’t an option. I’m running for president to fight for a country that values women, and I’m ready to share this vision with the American people," she tweeted Monday. "Will you give $1 to help us bring our vision to the debate stage?"

 

Franken resigned in January 2018 amid pressure from Democratic lawmakers after the allegations surfaced. 

Gillibrand has positioned herself as a strong advocate for women's rights but has faced criticism after reports surfaced that one of her aides resigned in protest over how Gillibrand's office handled a sexual harassment complaint. 

The senator has defended her office's handling of the complaint, saying that the allegations against her male aide "did not rise to the level of sexual harassment."

She is one of several senators vying for the Democratic nomination, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Krystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary LGBTQ advocates slam Buttigieg for past history with Salvation Army Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE (D-Mass.).