Al Franken Says He ‘Crossed a Line,’ ‘Made Some Women Feel Badly’

Senator’s Thanksgiving apology comes after more women accuse him of inappropriate touching

Sen. Al Franken spent his Thanksgiving apologizing for making “some women feel badly,” after more women stepped forward this week and accused the Democrat from Minnesota of inappropriately touching them.

Franken didn’t admit to groping in his newest statement on Thursday, or acknowledge his accusers by name, but said he felt “terribly” he’d “crossed a line.”

“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations,” said Franken. “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.”

On Monday, Lindsay Menz, accused Franken of grabbing her buttocks at a state fair in 2010, while two more women said the senator did the same thing to them in a Huffington Post article published on Wednesday.

Franken added in his newest statement: “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.”

Facing a potential Senate ethics investigation, Franken has scoffed at the idea of stepping down from his post; he concluded his statement saying he was committed to regaining the trust of his constituents.

The latest accusations came in the wake of Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden saying Franken had kissed her without consent and groped her while on a 2006 tour to entertain troops in the Middle East.

You can read Franken’s full statement below:

“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.”