Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show

Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show
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Former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenAl Franken blasts Susan Collins: She'll let Trump 'get away with anything' Bill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far MORE (D-Minn.), who resigned from Congress in 2017 over sexual misconduct allegations, is set to start hosting a weekly radio show beginning this Saturday, SiriusXM announced on Wednesday.

Franken’s show will consist of interviews discussing politics, entertainment and more and will air on Saturdays at 10 a.m. Eastern. Comedian Chris Rock will be the first guest, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Memo: Political trench warfare colors views on coronavirus GOP embraces big stimulus after years of decrying it Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate MORE (D-Nev.) and comic Patton Oswalt are scheduled for later shows, the satellite radio company said.

"When I'm interviewing Harry or former Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizCongress needs to prod the IRS to capture carbon Former diplomat Yovanovitch wins award for her work Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show MORE, I'll be the funny one," Franken said in a statement released by SiriusXM. "When I interview Rock or Patton Oswalt, I'll be the one who served eight-and-a-half years in the Senate."


SiriusXM said Franken will participate in its election coverage, including on the nights of debates, primaries and the general election. 

Franken told The Associated Press, which first reported the development, that he has no intention to return to politics, but will instead return to the familiar realm of media, having worked as a radio host and “Saturday Night Live” writer before joining the Senate. 

“I miss the Senate a lot but I’m not there so I want to be a voice,” he said.

“A lot of that will depend on me and whether folks think what I’m saying is important and fun at the same time,” he added of whether the public will accept his hosting of a radio show. Franken has already been hosting a podcast.

The Minnesota Democrat also said he’s been talking with SiriusXM about the show for a few months and that there are several topics he’d like to discuss, specifically noting health care and education.

Franken, long seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party prior to the sexual misconduct scandal, saw his standing on Capitol Hill disintegrate after several women accused him of unwanted kissing or touching. The allegations were fueled after a photo, taken while he was on a USO tour, showed his hands out, reaching for a sleeping woman's breasts. 

The photo appeared to be meant as a joke, but the controversy steamrolled and resulted in Democrats in the Senate calling for Franken to step down.

Since then, several senators have said they regretted calling for his resignation, however. 

“I was very gratified that eight of my colleagues have apologized and done so publicly and expressed regret for not giving me due process,” Franken said. “It’s pretty rare that you get one senator admitting that he or she had done something wrong. I think the American people believe in due process as well.”

Franken said he does not plan on discussing the scandal on his show and will instead point those interested to a piece in The New Yorker that included interviews with senators who said they regretted calling for Franken to step down.

— This report was updated at 10:17 a.m.