Gillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign

Gillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign
© Stefani Reynolds

Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAustin tight lipped on whether to take sexual assault cases out of commanders' hands Gillibrand touts legislation to lower drug costs: This idea 'is deeply bipartisan' A bipartisan effort to prevent the scourge of sexual assault in the armed forces MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday defended her call for former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMaher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' Why Caitlyn Jenner should not be dismissed #MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris MORE (D-Minn.) to resign from the Senate following sexual misconduct allegations against him, saying that she "stood up for women who came forward."


"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 HarrisOde to Mother's Day Warren says she'll run for reelection to Senate In honor of Mother's Day, lawmakers should pass the Momnibus Act MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel On The Money: Biden says workers can't turn down job and get benefits | Treasury launches state and local aid | Businesses jump into vax push Symone Sanders 'hurt' at being passed over for press secretary: report MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Infrastructure, Cheney ouster on deck as Congress returns Warren says she'll run for reelection to Senate MORE (D-Mass.).