After eight days of silence, Sen. Al Franken has come forward to address his next move in the wake of the sexual harassment allegation against him.
“I’m embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve let a lot of people down and I’m hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust,” said Franken in an interview with the Minnesota Star Tribune.
He added, “I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow.”
Franken also told the Star Tribune that he has spent the past week “thinking about how that could happen and I just recognize that I need to be more careful and a lot more sensitive in these situations.”
In regards to more accusations, he told the newspaper, “If you had asked me two weeks ago, ‘Would any woman say I had treated her with disrespect?’ I would have said no. So this has just caught me by surprise … I certainly hope not.”
Franken has said that he has posed for “tens of thousands of photos” over the years and does not recall any incidents that ended with him groping or inappropriately touching a woman.
“I don’t remember these photographs, I don’t,” he said. “This is not something I would intentionally do.”
The announcement of the Minnesota Senator’s return to work comes after he said he was committed to regaining the trust of his constituents after four accusers have come forward to accuse him of harassment. The accusers came forward after California radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden said that Franken forcibly kissed and groped her in 2006. This was followed by Lindsay Menz saying that Franken inappropriately touched her in 2010 as she was taking a photo with him at the Minnesota State Fair.