Disgraced former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) said that he hadn’t ruled out running for public office again after being forced to resign from the Senate in January over sexual misconduct allegations from over half a dozen women and one that included photographic evidence.
During his first public appearance since leaving the Senate, Franken gave an interview to CBS Minnesota Monday. The event was the dedication of the new Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation to replace their dilapidated facilities. Franken helped raise $12 million for the new facility during his time in the Senate.
When asked if he would run for public office again, Franken replied, “Well, see, if I say anything there you will put it in the story. I don’t know. I haven’t ruled it out, and I haven’t ruled it in."
Franken also said he missed being a senator.
“I miss the whole job,” he said. “I loved that job, I loved the job as senator."
"It was very meaningful for me and bittersweet, I would like to still be there," he emphasized.
Accusations against Franken began in November when radio anchor Leeann Tweeden provided photographic evidence of former Sen. Franken appearing to grope her as she slept. She also said Franken forcibly kissed her, an incident Franken says he remembers differently.
After that, Lindsay Menz accused him of groping her during a photo op at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair. Two more women alleged Franken grabbed them inappropriately at political events in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Franken resigned very reluctantly in January, claiming that “some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently.”
He also compared his situation to allegations against President Trump, saying there was “some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office.”
Former president Bill Clinton was scrutinized after calling Tweeden’s account into question and defending Franken during an interview on his book tour in June.
"There may be things I don’t know. But maybe I’m just an old-fashioned person, but it seemed to me that there were 29 women on ‘Saturday Night Live' that put out a statement for him, and that the first and most fantastic story was called, I believe, into question," Clinton said at the time.
Franken and his wife told CBS Minnesota that they will be in the state again in late August to visit friends and go back to the Minnesota State Fair.