Sen. Al Franken, bowing to pressure from his Senate colleagues, announced on Thursday that he would resign after being hit with multiple sexual misconduct allegations.
During a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Franken said he was “shocked” when multiple women accused him of groping them.
“I was shocked, I was upset, but in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation,” Franken said.
Franken also was defiant about some of the allegations leveled against him, however, and he insisted that some of them were flatly not true.
“I know there’s been a very different picture of me painted,” Franken said. “But I know who I really am.”
Franken also took shots at President Donald Trump and Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, whom he said continued to either serve in the Oval Office or running for public office.
“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape of his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office,” he said.
Despite this, Franken said that he was resigning because he could not give the people of Minnesota his full attention while undergoing an Ethics Committee investigation.
“I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice,” Franken said. “But Minnesotans deserve a senator who can focus with all her energy on addressing the challenges they face every day.”