Joy Behar Challenges Kirsten Gillibrand: Why'd You Push Out Al Franken?

Joy Behar kicked off an interview with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Monday by confronting the lawmaker for calling on Sen. Al Franken to resign after being publicly accused of sexual misconduct. 

Franken, whose last official day in office was Jan. 2, announced his resignation from Congress after eight women publicly accused him of behavior ranging from unwanted advances to unwanted groping and kissing. Gillibrand was the first Democratic lawmaker to call on him to step down.

“I just thought that was unfair to make him an example,” Behar said during Gillibrand’s appearance on “The View.”

Behar asked why Democrats didn’t hold a hearing and compared the allegations made against Franken to those made against President Donald Trump. At least 20 women have accused the president of sexual harassment and misconduct.

“Why did you push Franken out?” Behar pressed. 

Gillibrand called Franken a friend and the situation “heartbreaking.” Still, she said, he had to go.

“He’s entitled a hearing. He is. But he’s not entitled to my silence, Joy,” Gillibrand said. She added that the allegations against Franken were different from those against other men in politics, including Trump, but said they all deserved attention and action. 

“Why would you want to hold our elected leaders to the lowest standard and not the highest standard?” she asked. 

Check out the heated clash in the video above.

Gillibrand, a frequent Trump critic, has invited San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz to accompany her to the State of the Union address on Tuesday. Trump lashed out at Cruz in September when she requested aid to improve the humanitarian crisis caused by Hurricane Maria.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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CNN’s Camerota Still Asking If Franken Resignation Was ‘Too Hasty’

ALISYN CAMEROTA: And I do want to get to all of those issues and your agenda in a moment, but first, because you replaced Al Franken and there was so much, you know, emotion around him resigning, do you think that he should have resigned?

SENATOR TINA SMITH (D-MN): Well, I know from having spoken to Al many times — first of all, I want to say that Al was a really strong Senator for Minnesota. He advocated so well for us. And I also know that the decison that he made to resign was the decision that he felt was for the best thing for Minnesota, and I respect the decision that he made. And now it’s up to me to move forward, and that’s what I’m going to do.

CAMEROTA: I mean, a lot — look, I don’t have to tell you — a lot of his Democratic colleagues felt that it was too hasty and that he should have stayed, he should have waited out the ethics commission. And there were repercussions of his resignation, I mean, not just obviously you sitting there, but just this weekend, one prominent Democratic donor — Susie Tompkins Buell — says she’s considering withdrawing financial support from any Democrats who encouraged Al Franken to resign. So what do you think?

SENATOR SMITH: There are a lot of feelings about this. There are no doubting. What I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of feelings on both sides, and I really respect that. But I think that the question now is: How do we move forward? And I am 100 percent sure that Al made the decision that he thought was best.

And I think it’s also really interesting that this question of how women ought to be treated in their workplaces, what kind of respect they ought to get — whether they work in corporate board rooms or they work in hotel cleaning rooms — I think what was so strong about what Oprah Winfrey said last night is this issue is really galvanizing people, and I believe we’re at a tipping point in this country, and that that is a really good thing.  And it’s being driven, I think, by young women who are saying, “We shouldn’t have to put up with this anymore.”

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How They Do It– In wake of Franken’s defeat, three senators call on President Trump to resign

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Al Franken announces intention to resign from Senate over sexual misconduct allegations

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced his plans to resign following a series of allegations from women accusing him of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Franken said that while he believes an ethics committee investigation would find him innocent, he didn’t feel he could continue to serve and would be stepping down in the coming weeks. He contended that some of the allegations were not true and others he remembered differently.

“This decision is not about me,” Franken said Thursday. “It is about the people of Minnesota.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. — one of the first lawmakers to ask Franken to resign — took her glasses off and wiped tears from her eyes several times during his speech. More than a dozen Democratic lawmakers, including McCaskill, hugged Franken at the conclusion of his address. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was the only Republican senator on the floor during the announcement, which included a shot at the GOP.

“There is some irony that I am leaving while a man who bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who preyed on young girls runs for Senate with the full support of his party,” said Franken, referencing President Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Franken’s replacement will be selected by Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Dayton is expected to choose Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, who will hold the seat until a special election is held in November 2018. Dayton said he expects to make his decision in the next couple of days.

On Wednesday morning, after Politico published the story of a woman who said Franken tried to kiss her after a 2006 radio show, Democratic senators began to call for his resignation. (Franken denied the allegation.) Over the course of a few hours, more than half the caucus called for the second-term senator to step down.

The first allegation against Franken came on November 16 , when radio anchor Leeann Tweeden said that she had been forcibly kissed while rehearsing on a USO tour in 2006. She also included a photo of Franken mimicking groping her breasts while she slept on a flight during the same tour. Franken apologized, but said he did not remember the kiss in the same way. In all, eight women have accused Franken of harassment or misconduct.

After a career in comedy, writing, activism and talk radio, Franken first won election to the Senate in 2008, winning by just over 300 votes in a tight three-way race. He won reelection in 2014 by ten points, and was being put forth by some as a potential candidate for president in 2020.

Liz Goodwin contributed to the reporting of this story.

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Franken(stein) Has Left the Building: The Communist Party Has Lost a Leader

Al Franken has resigned from the Senate. This is a major coup carried out by the Trump administration which was designed to impugn the character and integrity of Franken by encouraging women in Franken’s past to come out with criess of sexual impropriety. The man is a pig and his fellow troth drinkers have been put on notice. But what is going on in America is much, much more than meets the eye.

All wars are first fought in the mind before they ever get to the battlefield. This is exactly what we have witnessed in our recent political history as America is just as divided as if the present date were to read, 1861. The metaphorical shots on Ft. Sumter have been fired. Both the revolution and the counter-revolution are on.

Al Franken is one of this civil war’s first casualties. However, it was a casualty that needed to happen. This conflict will most certainly escalate.

Al Franken(stein) has left the building. He is only the latest victim of a modern day Salem Witch Trials in which the presumption of guilt, over innocence, reigns supreme in an extreme perversion of our legal system. The former Senator from Minnesota is just the latest political casualty iu a war being waged for the control over political structure. Make no mistake about it, this former Senator was a directed target and a political casualty and Trump’s loyalists are at the heart of the plot to destroy this man, his reputation and his legacy. Some would argue that this man’s reputation and legacy needed destroying.

Al Franken has already been tagged as a communist subversive (see below) whose mision is it to destroy the United States. Al Franken was one of the Senatorial mainstays which encouraged the pursuit of Trump as a Russian subversive agent. In reality, it should have been Franken that was investigated for collusion. For example, in his fine work The Enemies Within, Trevor Louden identified Al Franken as a Senator who belonged ot many front groups for the Communist Party. And according to Louden, the Communist party actually campaigned for Franken in his run for his senatorial seat as many of their members went d00r-to-door on behalf of this former Senator and his canpaign.

New Zealand Journalist, Trevor Loudon, documents, through his documentary entitled The Enemies Within), available on Amazon Prime, and the Louden piece details how the Communist Party of the USA itself has adopted a stealth plan to achieve revolutionary goals by decisions made in the 1970s to infiltrate and manipulate the Democratic Party. Loudon’s work documents how Al Franken is a member of several front organizations with strong ties to the Community Party as well front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood..

“The Communist and Muslim Brotherhood infiltration plan is to form alliances with the radical elements in organized labor in conjunction with radicals in the African-American community and the feminist movement to establish a progressive coalition on the left that could dominate the national political agenda for decades to come.” Franken was friendly with the Progressive Caucus which is a front group for the Communist Party. Franken is not alone, but his actions and allegiances speak to his lack of commitment to the Republic and most importantly, the Constitution of The United States.

Trevor Loudon and former Congressmen West will tell you that there are 80 members of Congress who fit a similar profile to Franken. I have found even more and the number may pass 100 before all is said and done.

Here is merely a smattering of well-known names that fit this profile:

The House of Representatives

Nancy Pelosi

Louis Gutierrez

John Conyers

Charles Rangel

Marcy Kaptur

Peter DeFazio

Sheila Jackson Lee

Jim McDermott

Raul Grijalva

Kyrsten Sinema

…and a further cast of dozens.

The Senate

Barbara Boxer

Dick Durbin

Tom Harkin

Barbara Mikulski

Elizabeth Warren

Ed Markey

Debbie Stabenow

Al Franken

Sherrod Brown

Ron Wyden

Jeff Merkley

Patty Murray

Tammy Baldwin

Source: The Enemies Within-Trevor Loudon

Was it dirty politics that brought down Franken? Perhaps it was, but this person, like so many other traitors serving in our government, needed to be brought down. Therefore, the Trump people performed a public service.

I estimate before it is all said and done that a full 20% of the Congress (both houses) have ties to radical groups who are dedicated to Communist Party/Muslim Brotherhood ideals which means the eradication of the Constitution and the elimination of all civil liberties not granted by the state, the breakdown of traditional American morality, the subversion of the election process so that leaders are selected not elected and the establishment of Sharia Law in place of the Constitution.

With these associations and his continual efforts in dividing the country, this Senator should have resigned. Our country has reached its saturation point with treason from its public officials. Franken had lost all credibility.  Franken was not only a philanderer, he was a liar and a traitor. The Trump people could have not picked a better target.

One down and 79 to go.


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Bozell & Graham Column: Don’t Cry for Al Franken

Senator Al Franken, Comedian of Minnesota, was pressed by a majority of Senate Democrats to resign in the wake of a growing pile of accusations of grabbing women in sexual ways. When the number of accusers reached a critical mass,“They turned on one of their party’s most popular figures with stunning swiftness,” reported The Washington Post. 

That’s a pretty dramatic decline from the heights just nine months ago, when the Post was preparing him for the White House. Their headline then was “Al Franken may be the perfect senator for the Trump era — a deadly serious funnyman.” He was “having a breakout moment as a political star,” and he “spent the last eight years proving that he’s good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.”

Post reporter Karen Tumulty turned to Franken’s close friend Norman Ornstein, who insisted that in his Senate work,“He has that Perry Mason quality.” 

Except no one ever saw Perry Mason grabbing a sleeping woman by the breasts.

After the Democrats purged Franken, liberal journalists like Andrea Mitchell complained about a “rush to judgment.” On MSNBC, Tom Brokaw said political and media institutions “have to agree to a kind of codification of what is objectionable and how people should be held responsible for it.” He added, “This is not third-degree murder, this is not a stick-up of some kind in which you can clearly identify a crime. This is a subjective judgment about inappropriate behavior.” 

That’s correct. Judgment about ethics over the years has been remarkably subjective. No one can say the Senate has no place for men who abuse women. Sen. Ted Kennedy was honored by the media for four decades after leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to drown in his car at Chappaquiddick. Twenty years later, in 1989, Andrea Mitchell marked the anniversary with a gushing tribute to Teddy winning respect 20 years later. “Some call him King of the Hill, with a hand in every big issue.”

All those Democrats and liberal journalists turned around dramatically in 1991 and chose a very different subjective judgment against Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill had no photograph of Thomas grabbing her; she never claimed that he did. He was accused of talking dirty, and for that alone, the Democrats wanted him voted down.

With the rise of Bill Clinton in 1992, the subjective judgment changed once more. Sexual misbehavior once more was acceptable – and victims were not. The media that compared Anita Hill to civil-rights icon Rosa Parks now found Paula Jones to be a “Dogpatch Madonna” who, they claimed, pinched men in the rear down at the Red Lobster.

Make no mistake: Franken’s ouster is in part a Democratic Party maneuver to “clean house” in the event Roy Moore is elected to the Senate from Alabama. The formerly Franken-promoting Washington Post started this ball rolling with a disturbing article where Leigh Corfman claimed Moore initiated sexual contact with her in 1979 when she was 14 . She expressed her displeasure, and he drove her home. 

This accusation is more serious than Anita Hill’s, and as distasteful as it is, much less serious than Juanita Broaddrick’s rape charge, or Mary Jo Kopechne’s death. But the Mitchells and Brokaws grade sex scandals by checking the party label first. If Corfman had accused Clinton with a similar tale, the media elites would have felt sick and dragged their feet, just as they did with Jones and Broaddrick. 

Don’t cry for Al Franken, who is rich and famous and is going out with liberals feeling badly for him, despite all the accusers. Today’s situational ethics didn’t permit him to stay in the Senate and get the Kennedy treatment. 

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‘Hardball’ Frets ‘Effective’ Al Franken Had to Resign; ‘New Republican Age of Consent Is 14’

MSNBC’s Hardball
December 7, 2017
7:07 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, you have to say there, Susan, my fellow expert on politics, that in here, pedophilia is trumped by politics. They don’t care. The voters apparently would rather vote for the guy of their party regardless of his sins or behavior or crimes. 

SUSAN PAGE: And pretty sharp difference you see there between two parties’ attitudes because the allegations against Al Franken are serious but they’re not nearly as serious as the allegations against Roy Moore. 

MATTHEWS: Of course not. 

PAGE: And one reason I think the Democrats finally decided they would tell Senator Franken that he had to resign was because they want to make that contrast. They did not want to —

MATTHEWS: I have a feeling for Fran here. 

PAGE: — they did not want to spend their capital — 

MATTHEWS: She looks —

PAGE: She looks really sad. 

MATTHEWS: Look at that picture. 

PAGE: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: It’s just such a sad picture for her and him as well. Go ahead.

PAGE: It is a sad picture and, you know the fact is Al Franken was an effective senator, has been an effective senator, got re-elected easily after that very narrow first contest. But Democrats decided they had to encourage him to resign because they want this big contrast with the other party and they want it to help them next year when Republicans are standing with perhaps Senator Roy Moore and Democrats have forced members of Congress, Al Franken, John Conyers, perhaps others to come, to resign.


7:48 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: What about personal morality in 1998 with Bill Clinton, most important thing in the world to conservatives. 

ANNE GEARAN: And Democrats didn’t care about it then. No, I mean, that — that turn-around is absolutely amazing, right? I mean that was the thing by which Republicans hung Bill Clinton on a hook, that he was — that he was a liar, that he was immoral, and that he had dishonored —

MATTHEWS: Younger women.

GEARAN: He had dishonored the presidency. 

MATTHEWS: No, he went down as young as 22. This guy’s down at 14. The new Republican age of consent is 14 if this guy wins. Anyway, the round — I don’t want to laugh, but it’s horrible. It’s just so ludicrous that they’re running this platform. 

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ABC Spends More Time on Franken’s ‘Irony’ Than Actual Resignation

World News Tonight
December 7, 2017
6:40:05 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: In the meantime, we do move on to the other major headlines of this evening. Senator Al Franken announcing he will resign, after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. And calls from his Democratic colleagues, beginning with several prominent women in the Senate over the last 24 hours, calling on him to resign. But in his own words today, Franken pointed to what he called the irony, the allegations against the current president and against Roy Moore, running for Senate, both with strong support from the Republican party. Here tonight, ABC’s Mary Bruce.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: Al Franken walking to the Senate floor today to announce he’s leaving for good.


BRUCE: Eight women have accused the Minnesota Democrat of sexual misconduct. Franken has apologized for some of his behavior, but today he made one thing clear –


BRUCE: Still, he’s bowing to the demands of dozens of his Democratic colleagues who pushed him to resign. But not without this parting shot, taking aim at President Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

AL FRANKEN: I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony. In the fact that I am leaving, while a man who has bragged on tame about his history of sexual assault sits in the oval office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.

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BRUCE: More than a dozen women have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct. He insists they’re all liars. The White House Press Secretary today defended her boss.


BRUCE: Republicans are now in a tough spot. The Alabama election is on Tuesday. Moore has denied accusations of inappropriate behavior from eight women, including two who say he assaulted them as teenagers.


BRUCE: Mitch McConnell says, if elected, Moore would immediately face an ethics investigation. Are you concerned here that it looks like the parties are operating by different standards when it comes to sexual harassment?


[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: And Mary Bruce with us live tonight up on the hill. Mary, I know there is news breaking right now at this hour about yet another member of Congress? What can you tell us?

BRUCE: David, this time, it is a Republican. We have just learned moments ago that Arizona Congressman Trent Franks is resigning. He’s known as a conservative firebrand, especially on social issues. He now becomes the third member of Congress to resign just this week. David?

MUIR: Mary Bruce on the hill for us again tonight. Mary, thank you.

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Franken returns to work 'tremendously sorry' for pain he caused women

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., returned to work Monday to face reporters in Washington for the first time since allegations by multiple women of sexual harassment were made against him.

“I know that I’ve let a lot of people down, the people of Minnesota, my colleagues, my staff, my supporters, and everyone who has counted on me to be a champion for women,” Franken said in prepared remarks outside his Capitol Hill office before fielding a few questions. “To all of you, I just want to again say I am sorry. I know that there are no magic words that I can say to regain your trust. I know that is going to take time. I’m ready to start that process, and it starts with going back to work today.”

The comments are the first Franken has made in an open setting since the initial allegations were made against him. Earlier this month, radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 holiday USO war zone tour and having a picture taken of himself with his hands over her chest while she was asleep on a military transport plane.

Franken said he does not remember the rehearsal in the way Tweeden described it but “you have to respect women’s experience.” Franken said he apologized to Tweeden and was “very grateful” she accepted his apology.

Three other women came forward with accusations that Franken groped them as they posed with him for photographs on three separate occasions between 2007 and 2010.

Franken said that he has taken “thousands” of photos with tens of thousands of people since first running for office and doesn’t recall the alleged encounters, but “from these stories it’s been clear some” women felt he acted inappropriately.

“One is too many,” Franken said. “And for that I am tremendously sorry. And I know that I am going to have to be much more conscious in these circumstances.”

In a series of interviews with Minnesota news outlets on Sunday, the 66-year-old senator and “Saturday Night Live” alum said he was “embarrassed and ashamed” about his alleged actions, but that he is “looking forward to getting back to work.”

“I’ve let a lot of people down, and I’m hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust,” Franken told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The newspaper also asked Franken if he expects more women to come forward.

“If you had asked me two weeks ago, ‘Would any woman say I had treated her with disrespect?’ I would have said no. So this has just caught me by surprise,” Franken said. “I certainly hope not.”

Shortly after Tweeden’s initial allegation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called for the Senate Ethics Committee to look into the allegations. Franken agreed, and said he would cooperate.

On Sunday, one of Franken’s Senate colleagues, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the Minnesota Democrat should consider stepping down.

But Franken told Minnesota Public Radio that he has no such plans.

“I’m going to do my job, and I’m going to go forward,” he said. “I’m going to take responsibility. I’m going to be held accountable, and I’m going to try to be productive in the way I speak about this.”

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Franken says he's 'ashamed' by harassment allegations but 'looking forward to getting back to work'

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said on Sunday that he is “embarrassed and ashamed” about the allegations by multiple women of sexual harassment against him, but that he is “looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow.”

“I’ve let a lot of people down, and I’m hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust,” Franken told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I know I have a lot of work to do to regain the trust of the people I’ve let down, the people of Minnesota, my friends and colleagues, everyone who counts on me to be a champion for women.”

The comments are the first Franken has made publicly since the initial allegations were made against him. Earlier this month, radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 holiday USO war zone tour and having a picture taken of himself with his hands over her chest while she was asleep on a transport military plane.

Three other women came forward with accusations that Franken groped them as they posed with him for photographs on three separate occasions between 2007 and 2010.

The 66-year-old senator and former “Saturday Night Live ” star said that he has taken “tens of thousands” of photos since first running for office and doesn’t recall the alleged encounters.

“I don’t remember these photographs, I don’t,” he said. “This is not something I would intentionally do.”

Franken told the Star Tribune that he has been “thinking about how that could happen” and needs “to be more careful and a lot more sensitive in these situations.”

The newspaper also asked Franken if he expects more women to come forward.

“If you had asked me two weeks ago, ‘Would any woman say I had treated her with disrespect?’ I would have said no. So this has just caught me by surprise,” Franken said. “I certainly hope not.”

In a Nov. 16 blog post, Tweeden said that Franken “mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth” during a rehearsal for a skit the pair were performing for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2006. Tweeden told Franken she didn’t want to rehearse the kiss, but he insisted.

“I felt disgusted and violated,” Tweeden wrote.

Tweeden also posted the photo of Franken apparently pretending to grab her breasts as she slept aboard a military transport plane.

Franken apologized in a statement the same day.

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” Franken said. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny, but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Shortly after Franken’s apology, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called for the Senate Ethics Committee to look into the allegations. Franken agreed, and said he would cooperate.

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” the senator said.

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