Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot 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 on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' Andrew Cuomo and the death of shame Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? 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 SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack 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.