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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 ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Funky Academic:' Public has been 'groomed to measure progress by firsts' Biden administration in talks with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for India ambassador post: reports Business groups target moderate Democrats on Biden tax plans MORE said on Monday that he would not have pressured 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 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 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 (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.