Minnesota Senator Al Franken has not yet emerged from the bunker in which he is hiding somewhere in Washington. He will emerge tomorrow when he returns to work to take care of the business at hand, so to speak. Today, however, Franken made himself available to talk to trusted media outlets, such as the Star Tribune. Franken told the Star Tribune’s Jennifer Brooks that the sexual misconduct of which he has been accused was accidental. “This is not something I would intentionally do,” he said.
Franken said he has spent the past week “thinking about how that could happen and I just recognize that I need to be more careful and a lot more sensitive in these situations.” He has to be careful, lest he grab the ass of an unsuspecting lady.
Are there more women out there with whom Franken has had accidental encounters of the too close kind? Having been blinded by the women who have spoken up over the past week, he certainly “hope[s] not.”
It does not appear that Brooks asked Franken to reconcile his comments to her today with his written Thanksgiving statement. They are inconsistent, though each is laughable in its own way.
Franken told Minnesota Public Radio’s Cathy Wurzer that the photo with Leeann Tweeden was “inexcusable,” but he declined to explain it further. “What my intention was doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am chained to that photo,” Franken said. “She … didn’t have any ability to consent. She had every right to feel violated by that photo. I have apologized to her and I was very grateful that she accepted my apology.” I would add only that Franken is too hard on himself. If the conduct on display in the photo was accidental, it is excusable.