Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) admitted that she misses having disgraced former Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) in Congress after she called for him to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations during a 2020 presidential campaign stop on Thursday.
Footage from the Iowa event shows the 2020 Democratic hopeful responding to a question about the former senator, saying he “served us well” and that his decision to resign was “his alone.”
“We are all concerned about Senator Franken and frankly we all miss him. He was someone who really served us well on the Judiciary Committee and was a strong senator,” she said.
“But the truth is he had eight credible allegations against him for groping and forcible kissing and they were corroborated at the time that happened, they were investigated by the press and they were found to be credible by multiple sources,” she added.
Watch her comments below:
Despite her being the first Democratic senator to publicly call on Franken to resign, which opened the door for a slew of others to speak out, Gillibrand insisted that the decision was his:
“Of course he had every right to stick out and go to his ethics committee investigation. That might have taken another six months, nine months. Of course he had that right. Of course he had the right to sue all the women who accused him all his rights. He chose to resign. that was his decision and his decision alone. No other member of Congress or senator can make another member resign.”
Franken resigned from his position in the Senate in 2017 following a sexual misconduct scandal, which included multiple claims of groping and unwanted sexual advances. Gillibrand called for him to step down within hours of the first accusation.
Her presidential campaign has since reportedly expressed concern that the incident has led to some Democratic donors shying away from contributing.