Gillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign

Gillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign
© Stefani Reynolds

Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday defended her call for former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTrump's new labor chief alarms Democrats, unions Al Franken: It's time to start taking Trump 'literally' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs 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 faces pressure to define policy proposals Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersBullock: I would not have endorsed health care for undocumented immigrants on debate stage Harris faces pressure to define policy proposals Biden campaign rips 'Medicare for All,' calls on Dems to protect Affordable Care Act MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters MORE (D-Mass.).