NW Dems join calls for Franken to resign

The senator is facing other allegations that he groped women

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic leaders from the northwest joined calls on Wednesday for Minnesota Senator Al Franken to step down amid sexual harassment allegations.

Franken said he will make an announcement on Thursday.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden spoke out after after the new allegations surfaced, saying “I expect that Senator Franken will announce his resignation tomorrow. It is the right thing to do given this series of serious allegations.”

Senator Merkley wrote “Senator Franken has said he will make an announcement tomorrow, and I hope that he will do the right thing. It is in the best interest of our country for him to step aside.”

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell said “Senator Franken’s actions are disturbing, egregious, and demonstrate a pattern of serious misconduct and abuse. It is time for Senator Franken to resign from office.”

Washington Senator Patty Murray said “I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior. It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time. It’s time for him to step aside.”

The calls came as another woman accused Franken of sexual misconduct in an account to Politico.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., all called on Franken to step down early Wednesday.

Franken vehemently denied a new sexual misconduct accusation that came from a former Democratic congressional aide that he tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006.

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11:44 a.m.

Female senators are calling on fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign.

In Facebook posts and Tweets, the women said the two-term senator should step aside after a fresh allegation that he forcibly tried to kiss a woman in 2006.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote on Facebook that while Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, “I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve.”

Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Patty Murray of Washington state and Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined Gillibrand in pressing for Franken to quit.

The senator is facing other allegations that he groped women.

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9:43 a.m.

Sen. Al Franken is denying an accusation by a former Democratic congressional aide that he tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006.

The Minnesota Democrat says in a statement that the allegation — reported by Politico — is “categorically not true.”

The woman, who’s not identified by name, says Franken pursued her after her boss had left and she was collecting her belongings.

She says she ducked to avoid his lips. And she says Franken told her: “It’s my right as an entertainer.”

Franken says in his statement that the idea he’d claim such behavior as a right as an entertainer is “preposterous.”

The senator is facing a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into previous claims by other women that he groped them.