They say actions speak louder than words, but embattled Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is hoping that yet another apology will help to smooth things over after he was accused by a total of four women of inappropriate touching and other forms of sexual misconduct.
The mea culpa, which Franken issued on Thanksgiving afternoon, framed the latest allegations as simple misunderstandings between him and his accusers, who he says mistook his “greetings or embraces” as something sinister.
“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations,” he explained. “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 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.”
Franken went on to offer a direct apology to his constituents and reaffirmed his commitment to riding out the scandal while holding on to his Senate seat.
“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,” he said. “And let me say again to Minnesotans that I’m sorry for putting them through this and I’m committed to regaining their trust.”
Two more accusers came forward last week claiming that Franken had touched them inappropriately at political events, with one of them even alleging that Franken asked her to meet him in a bathroom.
“It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events,” he said at the time. “I can categorically say that I did not proposition anyone to join me in any bathroom.”