Presidential hopeful and Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand revealed on Thursday that despite leading the charge for Al Franken to step down from his seat as the junior U.S. senator from the state of Minnesota, she still misses him.
“We are all concerned about Senator Franken and frankly, we all miss him,” Gillibrand said at a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “He was someone who really served us well on the [Senate] Judiciary Committee and was a strong senator.”
“The truth is he had eight credible allegations against him for groping and forceable kissing,” she continued. “They were corroborated at the time they happened, they were investigated by the press, and they were found to be credible by multiple sources.”
Gillibrand led the operation to remove Franken from office in 2017 after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. Franken, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, was once considered a key player in the resistance to the Trump administration.
“For me, and other members of Congress, particularity the women in the Senate, we couldn’t carry his water and farther. We couldn’t stay silent and we couldn’t defend him,” Gillibrand said. “I couldn’t defend him.”
Following her criticism of the Minnesota lawmaker, a number of large Democratic donors pulled back on their support for Gillibrand, indicating that they would no longer help fund a run for president. (RELATED: Gillibrand’s Office Hit With Second Allegation Of Sexual Misconduct — And She Kept The Staffer On The Payroll)
“He had every right to stick it out and to go his ethics committee investigation — that might have taken anther six months, nine months. Of course he had that right. And of course he had the right to sue all the women who accused him — all his rights,” Gillibrand said. “He chose to resign, that was his decision and his decision alone.
“No member of Congress, no other Senator can make another senator resign,” she continued. “We are only asked what do you think? Do you think this is ok? Do you think this is defensible? And I chose … to say it’s not ok.”
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