UPDATED with more details: The majority of Dem Senators are calling for their colleague Sen. Al Franken to step down.
“I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately,” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, as two more women claimed the Minnesota senator had grabbed them during a photo op, or tried to force a kiss. [See list below]
Previous: Sen. Al Franken said Wednesday afternoon that he will make a statement Thursday morning, after a seventh woman’s harassment claims against the former Saturday Night Live writer/performer set off a stampede of Dem senators demanding his resignation:
Senator Franken will be making an announcement tomorrow. More details to come.
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) December 6, 2017
Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee also called on the Minnesota’s senator to step down after 10 Dem senators demanded he resign. An 11th joined the herd later.
This after an unnamed former Democratic Congressional aide told political web site Politico that Franken tried to force a kiss from her in 2006 at the end of one of Franken’s radio shows, claiming it was “my right as an entertainer.”
Franken has called this latest allegation “categorically not true,” after previously mostly sticking to various iterations of a got-no-recollection-but-apologize response to earlier allegations, saying he would gladly cooperate with a Senate Ethics Committee probe.
The former Democratic congressional aide said Franken made his move after her boss had left the room. “It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it…. and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer,’” Politico reported.
Responded Franken: “This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous. I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation.”
DNC chairman Tom Perez joined the chorus:
Sen. Al Franken should step down. Everyone must share the responsibility of building a culture of trust and respect for women in every industry and workplace, and that includes our party.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) December 6, 2017
The full list of Dem Senators calling for Franken to get out, compiled by ABC News:
- Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
- Susan Collins, R-Maine
- Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii
- Heidi Heitkamp, D- N.D.
- Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.
- Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
- Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.
- Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
- Patty Murray, D-Wash.
- Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
- Maria Cantwell,D-Wash.
- Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.
- Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
- Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
- Deb Fischer, R-Neb.
- Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
- Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
- Bob Casey, D-Penn.
- Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
- Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
- Ed Markey, D-Mass.
- Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.
- Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
- Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
- Tom Carper, D-Del.
- Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
- Tom Udall, D-N.M.
- Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
- Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (caucuses with Democrats)