Embattled Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) issued another apology on Thanksgiving after two more women stepped forward alleging the comedian-turned-lawmaker inappropriately touched them.
“I've met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs,” Franken wrote in a statement to the Star Tribune. “I’m a warm person; I hug people.”
Franken added that he's “learned from recent stories” that his behavior during some of those encounters “crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many.”
While the senator did not completely admit to the multiple accusations that he groped women on their buttocks, Franken acknowledged that “some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that.”
The Minnesota lawmaker also apologized to his constituents. However, he plans to remain in the U.S. Senate, vowing to regain their trust, according to the Star Tribune.
While some progressive groups have called for him to resign amid the mounting allegations, Democratic lawmakers have been hesitant to push for Franken to step down, opting instead to wait for the results of an ethics committee investigation.
Rather than definitively calling for Franken to step down, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert last week that she was “enormously disappointed” by the allegations against Franken and that he needs to face a “hearing in the United States Senate.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) took a more aggressive stance on Tuesday, blasting those calling for Franken to resign.
"I think that that is a distraction to be talking about resignation because what’s really at the bottom of this whole issue of sexual harassment is that it is pervasive in our culture,” Hirono said.