Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet 'Game of Thrones' scores record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet 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 FrankenAl Franken: It's time to start taking Trump 'literally' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Tariff battle looms as Trump jabs 'foolish' Senate GOP 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 SandersSanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine 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.