Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) issued a Thanksgiving day apology after two more women came forward to accuse him of inappropriate touching.
“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations,” Franken wrote in a statement to the Star Tribune. “I’m a warm person; I hug people.”
On Tuesday, news reported that two additional women, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Franken touched their butts in separate incidents.
One woman said she was posing for a photo with Franken at a Minnesota women’s event when he groped her. The second woman told news that Franken cupped her buttocks at a Democratic fundraiser, then suggested they visit the bathroom together.
Franken told news that he didn’t remember the campaign events, and that it was difficult to respond to anonymous accusers.
On Thursday, he expanded his response in a statement to the Star Tribune. The senator said he was working to regain the trust of his constituents in Minnesota, and apologized to the women he made feel uncomfortable.
“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,” he said in part.
“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 added.
The Star Tribune also reported that Franken will speak with media on Sunday.
Sexual harassment allegations against the Democratic senator first broke last week when radio host Leeann Tweeden said Franken kissed and groped her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour. Days later, Lindsey Menz told CNN that Franken had groped her while they were posing for a photograph at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
Franken has apologized for his behavior and said he is disgusted with himself. A group of women who previously worked in Franken’s Senate office, as well as his former colleagues at “Saturday Night Live,” penned letters supporting the former comic.
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