Senator Al Franken enjoyed a moment as a beloved Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota. He led the resistance against President Donald Trump this year, but ultimately was forced to resign over sexual assault allegations. In his resignation speech on Thursday, Franken targeted President Trump – highlighting the hypocrisy that he is being forced to leave the Senate, even though the man occupying the White House has committed more egregious crimes against women.
“I am proud that during my time the Senate I have used my time to be a champion of women and that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside everyday. I know there’s been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am,” Franken said on the Senate floor.
Franken tried to dismiss his alleged crime as a joke. He was on a tour of the Middle East in 2005, entertaining American troops, when he was photographed jokingly groping a woman named LeAnn Tweeden while she slept.
“Minnesotans deserve a senator who can focus with all her energy on addressing the issues they face every day,” he continued, implying that he has become a distraction to his party.
“I, of all people, am aware that there is 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 and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” he continued. This moment of his resignation speech directly implicated President Trump and Alabama Senatorial candidate Roy Moore, seemingly indicting the Republican Party as immoral despite their outward emphasis on family values.
“But this decision is not about me,” he said. “It’s about the people of Minnesota. It’s become clear that I can’t pursue the Ethics Committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for them.”