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Four senators urge Franken to reconsider resignation: report

Four senators urge Franken to reconsider resignation: report
© Greg Nash

At least four senators, including two Democrats, have reportedly said that Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart Franken#MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls Gillibrand: Cuomo allegations 'completely unacceptable' MORE (D-Minn.) should reconsider his resignation.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinHouse Democrats eye passing DC statehood bill for second time Biden dispatches Cabinet members to sell infrastructure plan On The Money: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change | Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act | Consumer bureau rolls out rule to bolster CDC eviction ban MORE (D-W.Va.) told Politico that the deluge of Democrats calling for Franken to resign was “the most hypocritical thing” he has “ever seen done to a human being.” 

“What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats,” Manchin added. “The most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being — and then have enough guts to sit on the floor, watch him give his speech and go over and hug him? That’s hypocrisy at the highest level I’ve ever seen in my life. Made me sick.”

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Politico also spoke with sources familiar with a private conversation between Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCapitol Police chief: Threats against lawmakers up nearly 65 percent since last year Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl Senate Democrats call on Biden to restore oversight of semiautomatic and sniper rifle exports MORE (D-Vt.) and Franken in which Leahy told Franken that he regrets calling for him to resign.

Two other senators said they were rushed to weigh in as pressure on Franken mounted, according to the news outlet, which added that they said did not put enough care and thought into their statements.

Franken announced earlier this month that he would resign after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged. One woman said he forcibly kissed her during a USO tour, and at least two others said he groped them while taking photos when he was in office.

Franken is one of three lawmakers to step down over sexual misconduct allegations as the #MeToo movement draws attention to similar cases in Hollywood and the media.

Franken himself and several other senators originally called for an ethics investigation into his behavior, but after the eighth accuser came forward, his Democratic colleagues, including Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), suddenly called for his resignation.

“I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator, nothing, has brought dishonor on this institution, and I am confident that the Ethics Committee would agree," Franken said during his resignation speech.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) announced that Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) would replace Franken, and Smith said that she would run for reelection in 2018.