MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, who was forced to resign in 2018 following a string of sexual misconduct allegations, is considering another run at public office.
In an interview published Monday by the Massachusetts-based newspaper The Republican, Franken said he has a political action committee and is “keeping his options open.”
The 70-year-old noted that there have been nine public apologies from former colleagues who now believe he was pushed out too abruptly at the height of the #MeToo movement.
“I wanted due process, but I had 36 colleagues and a majority leader who wouldn’t give it to me, so it was impossible,” the former Democratic lawmaker told the newspaper. “But you do have some regrets. It was a very weird, tough situation at that moment. I love the Senate. I love the work that I did.”
Franken, a former writer and cast member on “Saturday Night Live” spoke to the newspaper because he is about to kick off his standup comedy tour on the East Coast this weekend. “The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour” is slated to make more than a dozen stops across the country, including a show at Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis on Oct. 2.
Franken resigned from the Senate in January of 2018 after eight women accused him of inappropriate touching. The allegations came after the release of a 2006 photo showing the yet-to-be-lawmaker pretending to grope a woman while she was asleep on a plane. The image was taken during a tour to the Middle East to entertain troops. Franken wouldn’t be elected to the Senate until two years later.
In 2019, Franken told The New Yorker that he “absolutely” regretted resigning from the Senate without an ethics investigation. The same article also named seven senators who told the magazine that they regretted calling for him to step down. Among them was former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who said: “If there’s one decision I’ve made that I would take back, it’s the decision to call for this resignation.”