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 FrankenOvernight Health Care: House Dems launch major drug pricing investigation | Judge blocks Trump contraception rule rollback | Booker tries to shake doubts about pharmaceutical ties ahead of 2020 | FDA to resume high-risk food inspections Booker tries to shake doubts about pharmaceutical ties ahead of 2020 The reality check Democrats need to win in 2020 MORE (D-Minn.) should reconsider his resignation.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks This week: No signs of urgency as shutdown enters fourth week Senate immigration talks fall apart 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 LeahyTSA absences raise stakes in shutdown fight Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least Blumenthal: DOJ denying Dems meetings with AG nominee Barr, citing shutdown 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.