Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMaloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee She Should Run launches initiative to expand number of women in political process MORE's (D-N.Y.) presidential campaign suggested Sunday that the campaign's low first-quarter fundraising totals could be partly attributed to backlash over Gillibrand's decision in 2017 to call for the resignation of Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTake Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show MORE (D-Minn.).

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the campaign reportedly said there's "no question" that donors are retaliating in response to Gillibrand calling on Franken, who had been accused of sexual harassment, to step aside. 

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“There’s no question that the first quarter was adversely impacted by certain establishment donors — and many online — who continue to punish Kirsten for standing up for her values and for women,” the memo reads. 

Gillibrand's campaign announced Sunday that it raised $3 million in the first quarter of 2019, putting her behind several of her Democratic rivals in the race, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Democrats seize on report of FedEx's Bernie Sanders tax bill to slam Trump's tax plan If we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisIf we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat New poll shows four top-tier 2020 candidates in Iowa The Democratic race for president may not sort itself out MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Democrats seize on report of FedEx's Elizabeth Warren tax bill to slam Trump's tax plan Warren 'fully committed' to 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Mass.).

Gillibrand was the first senator in 2017 to call for Franken to step down amid the allegations of sexual misconduct.

The New York senator last month defended that decision, saying she "stood up for women who came forward" in doing so. 

"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 the time.