MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After two more women told the Huffington Post Sen. Al Franken touched them inappropriately at campaign events, the Minnesota senator is offering another apology, and a defense of his actions.
The two accusers, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Huffington Post that Franken touched their butt while he was taking a photo with them in two separate Minneapolis campaign events in 2007 and 2008. One of the women also said Franken suggested he join her as she headed to the bathroom.
In response to the accusations Wednesday night, Franken released a statement:
“It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events, but I can categorically say that I did not proposition anyone to join me in any bathroom.”
A day later, the senator is offering a longer apology, but defended his actions, saying, “I’m a warm person; I hug people.” Still, he says he respects the way he may have made some women feel in those situations:
“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.”
The senator has yet to make a public appearance since the first allegation of inappropriate behavior emerged last week.