Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke declined to call on Minnesota Sen. Al Franken to resign following a second accusation of sexual harassment against the Democratic senator.
O’Rourke said he wasn’t calling on Franken to step aside because the senator’s alleged groping of women is “unacceptable,” but “a different level of behavior” than the alleged behavior of Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
“I think that investigation should be allowed to take place but certainly this kind of behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable and unbecoming a member of the U.S. Senate. I hope this investigation is allowed to take its full course and whatever the findings and the consequences are, I know that Senator Franken and the Senate agree that’s the best path for this to take,” O’Rourke said in an interview on CNN Monday evening.
“Why is it okay for everybody to say Roy Moore should be gone but not Al Franken?” asked CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“In the case of Roy Moore you have someone who as a grown man was preying on girls in his community, sexually abusing and assaulting these girls and young women. In the case of President Trump you have someone who was boasting about sexual assault and preying on women and using his position of power to try to dominate women physically, boasting about it, caught on a microphone,” O’Rourke said.
“In the case of Senator Franken, you have someone who was — what he did was unacceptable, but I think in a different level of behavior, unacceptable still, but the kind of sexual assault that you had President Trump brag about, the kind of predation that you saw from Roy Moore, a completely different level,” he added.
Moore is accused of romantically and sexually pursuing teen girls as an attorney in his 30s. At least two women have accused Moore of sexually molesting them as teens.
Leeann Tweeden accused Franken last week of forcibly kissing her and then groping her while she slept on a USO trip in 2006. Another woman, Lindsay Menz, accused Franken of squeezing her butt while the two posed for a picture in 2010, while the Democrat was a senator.