Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning

Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTake Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show MORE told The New Yorker in an interview published Monday that he "absolutely" regrets resigning from the Senate in 2018 following sexual harassment allegations from eight women.

Franken explained that in retrospect he would have appeared before the Senate Ethics Committee before stepping down.

“I can’t go anywhere without people reminding me of this, usually with some version of ‘You shouldn’t have resigned,’ ” he told the magazine.

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Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer, was pressured by a number of Democrats to step aside after Leeann Tweeden accused him of having forced an unwanted kiss on her during a 2006 U.S.O. tour. Seven other women accused Franken of inappropriate kissing or touching soon after.

However, some Democrats have expressed regret about his resignation.

Seven current or former senators who demanded Franken's resignation told The New Yorker that they had been wrong to do so.

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDemocrats dig in ahead of Supreme Court ruling on 'Dreamers' McConnell tees up government funding votes amid stalemate Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter MORE (D-Vt.) told the outlet that supporting resignation without first getting all the facts was “one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made” in 45 years in the Senate.

“If there’s one decision I’ve made that I would take back, it’s the decision to call for his resignation. It was made in the heat of the moment, without concern for exactly what this was," former North Dakota Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (D) said.

Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Missouri Republican wins annual craft brewing competition for lawmakers MORE (D-Ill.) told the magazine that the Senate Ethics Committee “should have been allowed to move forward,” adding that "that due process didn’t happen is not good for our democracy."

Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingSenators fear Syria damage 'irreversible' after Esper, Milley briefing Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Democrats grill Army, Air Force nominees on military funding for border wall MORE (Maine) said he’d “regretted it ever since” joining calls for resignation.

“There’s no excuse for sexual assault,” he added. “But Al deserved more of a process. I don’t denigrate the allegations, but this was the political equivalent of capital punishment.”

“This was a rush to judgment that didn’t allow any of us to fully explore what this was about. I took the judgment of my peers rather than independently examining the circumstances," Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Democratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens MORE (D-Ore.) told the outlet. "In my heart, I’ve not felt right about it.”

“I realized almost right away I’d made a mistake. I felt terrible. I should have stood up for due process to render what it’s supposed to — the truth," former Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonBottom Line Bottom Line Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (D-Fla.) said.

“I made a mistake. I started having second thoughts shortly after he stepped down. He had the right to be heard by an independent investigative body," Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSenate fails to override Trump veto over emergency declaration Democratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens Green groups line up behind Markey ahead of looming Kennedy fight MORE (D-N.M.) said. "I’ve heard from people around my state, and around the country, saying that they think he got railroaded. It doesn’t seem fair. I’m a lawyer. I really believe in due process.”

Former Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump thanks Reid for warning Democrats not to underestimate him Reid warns Democrats not to underestimate Trump Harry Reid predicts Trump, unlike Clinton, won't become more popular because of impeachment MORE (Nev.), who was retired at time, told The New Yorker, “It’s terrible what happened to him. It was unfair. It took the legs out from under him. He was a very fine senator.”