Minnesota Senator Al Franken says he committed to regaining the trust of his constituents and, while noting that he’s had thousands of photographs taken “in crowded and chaotic situations,” he “crossed a line for some women.”
“Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that,” the former Saturday Night Live writer and performer said.
Franken’s last comments on the harassment allegations were made yesterday to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, the senator’s hometown newspaper. The statement came as the number of his accusers rose to four, the most recent two appearing in a Huffington Post article in which two anonymous women say Franken grabbed their buttocks during photo ops.
Here’s Franken’s statement in whole:
“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many.
“Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that. I’ve thought a lot in recent days about how that could happen, and recognize that I need to be much more careful and sensitive in these situations. I feel terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again.
“And let me say again to Minnesotans that I’m sorry for putting them through this and I’m committed to regaining their trust.”
A spokesman for Franken has told reporters that the senator does not intend to resign. Franken is expected to speak to reporters Sunday.