MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Despite a call from the Minnesota Republican Party to cancel his plans, Sen. Al Franken says he will still appear at an event with Kathy Griffin – who recently posed with a simulacrum of President Donald Trump’s severed head.
Griffin posed for the photo as part of a shoot with L.A.-based photographer Tyler Shields, according to TMZ. She has since apologized via a Twitter video, saying she “went too far.”
Franken is scheduled to promote his new book, “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate,” with Griffin in an event on July 7 in Beverly Hills. Shortly after the picture was posted, GOP lawmakers called on Franken to cancel his appearance with her.
“Surely, Senator Franken values the physical well-being of our democratically-elected President over promoting his book,” Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan said. “While we value political discourse and the freedom to express your opinion, this act of perceived violence against the elected leader of the United States of America is disgraceful and disgusting.”
On Wednesday, Franken appeared on CNN and discusses the controversy and agreed that Griffin went too far.
“Kathy’s a friend and she’s a terrific comedian, but this had no business being in our public discourse. And I talked to her. She apologized — a real fulsome apology. She’s actually begged for forgiveness. And, I believe in forgiveness,” Franken said.
Franken was also asked if he thinks Griffin can recover.
“Well, I think she did the right thing. I think, asking for forgiveness and acknowledging this — this was a horrible mistake. And so, I think she can,” he said.
When asked if he will still appear with Griffin, Franken responded, “yes.”
Franken has been an outspoken critic of Trump. There is growing speculation the Minnesota senator could run for president in 2020.