U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, is among a growing list of senators calling on their colleague U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to resign amid mounting allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend,” Hirono said, in a statement. “But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
Hirono is among a group of Democratic senators to call for his resignation. Those include U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, and Kamala Harris of California.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, also tweeted that Franken should resign and that "we need to bring about real change by treating others with aloha."
.@alfranken should resign. As a society, we need to address the core problem of treating people as objects. We need to bring about real change by treating others with aloha - which means respect, care, & kindness no matter their gender, race, religion etc https://t.co/n2dk07YCVU
Franken has not spoken publicly amid the calls for him to step down, but he said on Twitter that he was still talking to his family and his not made a final decision on whether he'll resign.
Seven women have accused Franken of sexual impropriety. The latest allegation came Wednesday, in an account in Politico. Franken is denying the accusation by a former Democratic congressional aide, who says he tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006.
The calls for Franken's resignation come a day after Democratic Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., announced he was resigning after calls from his own party to step down.
“We can only create a culture where women are respected as equals if we all step forward and be part of the change by holding everyone, especially our leaders, accountable," Hirono added.
Also on Wednesday, TIME Magazine named “The Silence Breakers” as the person of the year for 2017, recognizing those who have sparked a global conversation about sexual harassment and assault.
“TIME Magazine, by naming ‘The Silence Breakers’ as their ‘Person of the Year,’ is recognizing what women have always known: there are men among us who use their positions of power and influence to manipulate, harass, and assault women,” Hirono said. “What is new here is the women. We are, all of us, speaking out, naming names and demanding that the harassers take responsibility for their behavior.”
Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women. (thread)