Buttigieg on Franken resignation process: 'I would not have applied that pressure' until we knew more

Buttigieg on Franken resignation process: 'I would not have applied that pressure' until we knew more
© Camille Fine

Democratic presidential hopeful and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina Sanders says gender 'still an obstacle' for female politicians Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders MORE said on Monday that he would not have pressured former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Al Franken mocks McConnell: 'Like listening to Jeffrey Dahmer complain about the decline of dinner party etiquette' MORE (D-Minn.) to resign until lawmakers had more information when Franken was facing sexual misconduct allegations in 2017. 

"I think it was his decision to make, but I think the way we basically held him to a higher standard than the GOP does their people has been used against us," Buttigieg told MSNBC's Chris Matthews at a town hall in Fresno, Calif. 

"I think it is not a bad thing that we hold ourselves to a higher standard," he continued. 

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"I would not have applied that pressure at that time before we knew more," he said when pressed by Matthews on how the process was handled.

Franken resigned in January 2018 after multiple women came forward to accuse him of inappropriate conduct, including kissing without consent. 

The former senator apologized and later stepped down amid pressure from multiple Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (N.Y.), who is also a 2020 presidential contender. 

Gillibrand, who was the first senator to call for Franken's resignation, defended the decision in March, saying she "stood up for women who came forward" in doing so.