Massachusetts U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey are calling for fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken, of Minnesota, to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Warren and Markey are among more than two dozen Democratic senators who have called on him to step down.
Markey released a statement about Franken Wednesday, and said in a tweet that "sexual harassment is unacceptable, completely inappropriate and cannot be tolerated."
"I think he should resign," Warren said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. An aide to Warren told WBUR earlier Wednesday that the senator also privately told Franken he should vacate his seat.
Several women have accused Franken of forcibly groping or kissing them or attempting to make unwanted sexual advances. In mid-November, he apologized after a prominent Los Angeles radio host was the first woman to accuse him. The woman said Franken forced himself on her while the two were on a USO tour in 2006. The senator said he did not remember the events as she recounted them but also called his actions, including a photo he took of her asleep, "inappropriate."
The most recent allegation against Franken was made anonymously by a woman who told Politico that in the same year, he tried to kiss her without consent. He has denied that accusation, saying it is "categorically not true."
Along with Warren, Markey and New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, multiple female senators — including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) — were joined by several male colleagues Wednesday in demanding Franken leave his seat. NPR has been updating a list of senators and their public statements and social media posts.
The Senate Ethics Committee has begun investigating the accusations against Franken. A spokeswoman for New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, also a Democrat, said she "cannot comment [on calls for Franken's resignation] due to her position on the Senate Ethics Committee."
Franken said Wednesday he will make a public announcement on Thursday. He did not provide any other details about his planned remarks.
This article was originally published on December 06, 2017.
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Jonathan Cain Executive Producer, All Things Considered
Jonathan Cain is the executive producer for WBUR's All Things Considered and edits afternoon newscasts. He came to WBUR after working for 14 years as an Emmy Award-winning television news producer at NECN in Newton and WTVR in Richmond, Virginia.