Warren joins chorus calling for Franken’s resignation
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren joined the chorus of Democratic senators calling for Minnesota Democrat Al Franken to resign in the wake of new sexual harassment allegations, including fellow Senator Ed Markey.
Female Democratic senators lead the charge for Franken’s ouster Wednesday, but Warren was the last among them to speak out publicly against him, waiting until mid-afternoon to do so.
“I think he should resign,” Elizabeth Warren said in a statement put out by her staff. She did not elaborate.
Earlier in the afternoon, a Warren aide told the Globe that the senator had talked to Franken privately and told him he should step down.
The wave of anti-Franken statements was first kicked off by a Facebook post by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who, like Warren, is often pointed to as a likely contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Within minutes, Gillibrand was followed by two, then four, and eventually more than a dozen of her female colleagues. By mid-afternoon, more than half of the Senate Democrats had weighed in, saying it was time for Franken to go.
Markey joined the call around 12:30 p.m. via Twitter, saying Franken should resign. “Sexual harassment is unacceptable, completely inappropriate and cannot be tolerated,” Markey wrote.
Representative Seth Moulton had been the first member of the Massachusetts delegation to call for Franken’s departure, doing so Tuesday night.
One reason that Warren might not have joined the initial round of calls could be her longtime friendship with Franken. She was a frequent guest on his national radio show, and Franken campaigned for her when she first ran for the Senate in 2012. Two years later, Warren traveled to Minnesota to campaign for his reelection.
Indeed, just two days before the first allegation of inappropriate conduct by Franken became public last month, Warren taped a chummy video with Franken on the Republican tax proposal.