Franken on groping allegations: 'This will not happen again'

Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenHirono electrifies left as Trump antagonist Miss USA pageant winner celebrated for addressing 'Me Too' movement on stage NY man sentenced to prison for racist death threats to Obama, Waters MORE (D-Minn.) told reporters Monday that he will work to regain people’s trust following allegations of sexual misconduct against him, and vowed “this will not happen again going forward.”

“I know I’m going to have to be much more conscious in these circumstances, much more careful, much more sensitive, and that this will not happen again going forward,” Franken told told dozens of reporters outside of his Capitol Hill office.

“Again, it’s going to take a long time for me to regain people’s trust, but I hope that starting work today that I can start to do that,” he added.


Radio host Leeann Tweeden said earlier this month that Franken kissed and groped her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour. Since then, other women have accused Franken of groping them while taking photos. 

Franken, who has indicated he won't resign, said on Monday that he couldn't rule out additional women coming forward with allegations.  

"If you had asked me two weeks ago would any woman come forward with an allegation like this I would have said no, and so I cannot speculate. ...What I'm going to do is I'm going to start my job and go back to work," he said. 

He declined to speculate about what it would take to step down. 

Franken's press conference comes after he kept a low profile in the immediate wake of Tweeden's allegations, skipping Senate votes and a Democratic caucus lunch. 

But he broke his silence over the week-long Thanksgiving break, telling Minnesota news outlets that he was "embarrassed and ashamed" by the allegations of groping. 

"Those are instances that I do not remember ... [but] it's been clear that there are some women, and one is too many, who feel that I have done something disrespectful and I've hurt them. And for that I am tremendously sorry," Franken told reporters on Monday.

Franken is among several public officials to face allegations of sexual misconduct recently. Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersReparations: The 'lost cause' of black politics? Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Reparations bill wins new momentum in Congress MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) on Sunday stepped aside as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee pending an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.

Top Democrats, including Franken, as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act House Dem cites transgender grandson in voting for Equality Act MORE (R-Ky.) have called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the allegations against Franken. 

The panel hasn't publicly announced if it will, or has, started a probe. But if it goes forward, its punishment for Franken could range from sending a letter of admonition to recommending the full Senate reprimand, censure or even expel Franken.

Franken reiterated on Monday that he will "completely cooperate" with any ethics investigation, and was "open" to making the committee's findings public.

"I've been doing a lot of reflecting and I want to be someone who adds something to this conversation, and I hope I can do that," he said.

This story was updated at 2:05 p.m.