Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Wednesday said that it was time for her embattled colleague, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), to resign.
In a Facebook post published on Wednesday, Gillibrand said that, while she had long considered Franken a friend and a first-rate colleague, she could no longer ignore the multiple women who have come out and accused him of groping them or making unwanted sexual advances toward them.
Gillibrand said that the flood of stories coming out about powerful men sexually harassing women mean it is time to start drawing lines — and she simply could not exempt Franken from facing consequences.
“We have to rise to the occasion, and not shrink away from it, even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard,” she said. “I have spent a lot of time reflecting on Senator Franken’s behavior. Enough is enough. The women who have come forward are brave and I believe them. While it’s true that his behavior is not the same as the criminal conduct alleged against Roy Moore, or Harvey Weinstein, or President Trump, it is still unquestionably wrong, and should not be tolerated.”
Shortly after Gillibrand Facebook post went live, fellow Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) also called on Franken to step down.
“I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend,” wrote Hirono on Twitter. “But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women. (thread)
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 6, 2017