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 ButtigiegDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE said on Monday that he would not have pressured former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTrump's new labor chief alarms Democrats, unions Al Franken: It's time to start taking Trump 'literally' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs 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 Elizabeth GillibrandHarris faces pressure to define policy proposals Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage 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.