On Monday afternoon, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) addressed reporters outside of his office during a brief press conference upon returning to work. The embattled congressman echoced previous remarks he’d given regarding multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by women immediately after the accusations were first made public. He also repeated many of the same comments he made over the weekend while speaking with media outlets in Minnesota. When it came to the matter of his possible resignation, which some critics on all sides have called for, Franken insisted he was “trying to take responsibility by apologizing” but said he wouldn’t “speculate” further.
The topic of his resignation came up when a reporter asked Franken, “what’s the bar for someone like you to have to resign?” Or more generally, “What kind of behavior demands a resignation?” Franken said he didn’t know, instead offering what he considered the best possible answer under the circumstances:
“I’m not going to get into that or speculate on that. I’m certainly not going to talk to anybody else. This is what I’ve been trying to do. I’ve been trying to take responsibility by apologizing, and by apologizing to the people I’ve let down. I’m going to work to regain their trust. I am going to be accountable. We are going to cooperate completely with the ethics investigation. I will be open to [making the investigation’s findings public]. I’ve not worked with the Ethics Committee before, and I don’t quite know how that works, but I’m certainly open to that. And also, I’m going to try to learn from my mistakes.”
In conclusion, Franken said he has “been doing a lot of reflecting,” adding he “[wants] to be someone who adds something to this conversation.” Whether or not his constituents in Minnesota, his supporters (previous and otherwise) across the country, and the growing tide against enabling such behavior among men in positions of power allows this to happen remains to be seen.