Disgraced Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) released a lengthy statement over the holiday weekend in which he claims that he’s spent “this past year thinking about the broader conversation we’ve been having about the experience of women in this country.”
This time last year Franken was facing pressure to resign after being accused of sexual misconduct by at least eight different women. The allegations included groping and forcible kissing, which he allegedly claimed was his “right as an entertainer,” Politico reported in Dec. 2017.
“Last Thanksgiving, though, wasn’t much fun. I tried to be thankful for my family, my friends, and my health, but those weeks were incredibly difficult for us Frankens,” the former Minnesota senator wrote on Facebook Thursday.
But Franken goes on to thank his former constituents for all of the support they’ve shown him since he was accused, saying “it’s meant a lot to me and my family.”
“Over the last year, I’ve heard from so many of you—kind notes, supportive comments here on Facebook, people coming up to me at the grocery store or the gas station over the Vikings game to say hi,” he writes. “Representing Minnesota in the Senate was the greatest job I’ll ever have, and I miss it more than you know.”
The former SNL star then says he’s spent “a lot of time” reflecting on the issue that got him kicked out of office—the “experience of women in this country.”
“I know that, for so many people, this issue raises a lot of powerful and painful feelings. This conversation can also be incredibly complicated. I don’t think it’s my place to weigh in on all the debates—but I will continue to listen and learn,” Franken continues.
His statement later celebrates the “thrilling Democratic victories” his party experienced during the midterms, saying he still misses “being in the fight every day.”
“And while I’m certainly not running for anything, I hope that, in the next year, I’ll have the chance to help make a difference again,” Franken concludes.
In an August interview, he said that he hasn’t ruled out running for office again, but has yet “ruled it in” either.
“I miss the whole job. I loved that job. I loved that job as senator,” he said. Franken was replaced by Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) who won her first election during the midterms against Republican Karin Housley.
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