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 ButtigiegFive top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Abrams helps launch initiative to train women activists, organizers This is how Democrats will ensure Trump's re-election MORE said on Monday that he would not have pressured former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Scarlett Johansson defends Woody Allen: 'I believe him' Trump mocks Gillibrand after exit: 'She was the one I was really afraid of!' 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 GillibrandAt debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Trump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions Klobuchar, Buttigieg find themselves accidentally flying to debate together 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.