Al Franken wants you to know he's very sorry and wants to regain your trust
In a Thanksgiving address to Minnesotans, Senator Al Franken wanted them to know that he is very sorry about groping women and will work to "regain their trust."
But Franken also claimed that his pawing of women was misunderstood. He's actually a very "warm person," and when he groped females, he didn't know at the time that he had "crossed a line."
"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," Franken said in a Thanksgiving Day statement.
"And let me say again to Minnesotans that I'm sorry for putting them through this and I'm committed to regaining their trust."
Franken did not address in his new statement whether or not he planned to stay in office. A spokesperson for the senator told the Star Tribune on Thursday that Franken had no intentions to step down.
Franken also suggested on Thursday that some of his conduct with women might have been misjudged.
"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."
The statement came a day after HuffPost reported that two women had accused him of groping them in 2008.
"It's difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don't remember those campaign events," Franken said in a statement to HuffPost regarding the allegations.
To be clear: Franken is saying he is such a warm, loving person that when he was hugging women to show how warm and loving he was, he accidentally sort of let his hand wander down to their buttocks and squeezed – just to prove how warm and loving he was. And his groping of the reporter's breasts? He apparently didn't realize he had "crossed a line" until she pointed out the inappropriateness of his behavior.
Throwing yourself on the mercy of your constituents is a desperation measure. With his approval rating in the low 20s, Franken really doesn't have much of a choice.
But he's not up for re-election until 2020. And while his national ambitions have almost certainly been destroyed, he could recover enough to win in 2020 as long as he keeps his head down and nose clean.