Gillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign

Gillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign
© Stefani Reynolds

Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? K Street support to test Buttigieg Kamala Harris backs putting third gender option on federal ID MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday defended her call for former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenWinners and losers from first fundraising quarter Election analyst says Gillibrand doesn't have 'horsepower to go the full distance' Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo 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 HarrisDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda The Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? K Street support to test Buttigieg MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Meghan McCain: Bernie Sanders supporting prisoners being able to vote 'bats**t insane' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Minorities, older adults push Biden to top of 2020 poll The difference between good and bad tax reform MORE (D-Mass.).