US Sen. Al Franken Resigns

Speeches and Events
Thursday, December 7th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

News correspondent. Pitcher senator Al Franken is making a speech on the senate floor to respond to the growing chorus calling for his resignation amid sexual harassment allegations. Mr. President. Senator from Minnesota thank you Mr. President. A couple of months ago. I felt that we had entered an important. Moment in the history of this country. We work finally beginning to listen to women. About the ways in which man's actions. Affect. The moment as long overdue. I was excited for that conversation and hopeful that. It would result in real change. That made life better for. Women all across the country. And in every part. Of our society. Then the conversation turned to me. Over the last few weeks a number. Of women have come forward to talk about how they felt my actions. At affected them. I was I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claims I also wanted to be respectful. Of that broader conversation. Because all women deserve to be heard. And their experiences. Taken seriously. I think that was the right thing to do. I also think. He gave some people a false impression that I was admitting. To doing things that in fact I haven't done. Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently. I said at the outset. That the ethics committee was the right venue for these allegations to be heard. And investigated. And evaluated. On their merits. That I was prepared to cooperate fully. And that I was confident in the outcome. You know an important part of the conversation we've been having the last few months. Has been about how men abuse their power. And privilege to hurt women. I am proud. The during my time in the senate I have use. My power. To be a champion of women. And now I've earned a reputation as someone who respects. The women I work alongside. Every day. I know there's been a very different picture of me hated it over the last few weeks. But I know who I really am. Serving in the United States senate has been a great honor of my life. I know in my heart that. Nothing I have done as a senator. Nothing. As brought this honor on. On this institution. And I am confident. That the ethics committee would agree. Nevertheless today I am announcing. That in the coming weeks. I will be resigning as a member of the United States senate. I hear of all people him aware that there is some irony. In the fact that I am leaving. While Amanda who is bragged on tape. About his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office. And a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls. Campaign toward the senate. Will vote with the full support of his party. But this decision is not about me. It's about people in Minnesota. Has become clear that I can't both pursued the ethics committee process and at the same time. Remain an effective senator. For them. Let me be clear. I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice. I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen. And have an activist. A minnesotans deserve a senator. Who can focus with all her energy. On addressing the challenges they face. Every day. There is a big part of me that will always regret. Having a walk away from this job with so much work. We have to be done. But I have faith. That the work will continue because I have faith. In the people who have helped me do it. I have faith in the dedicated. Funny. Selfless. Brilliant. Young men and women on my staff. They have so much more to contribute to our country. And I hope that as disappointed as they may feel today. Every one whose work for me knows how much I admire. And respect. I have faith in my colleagues especially my senior senator. Amy publisher. I would not have been able to do this job without her guidance and wisdom. I have faith or at least hope. That members of this and it will find the political courage necessary. They keep asking the tough questions. Hold this administration accountable. And stand up for the truth. I have faith in the activists who were organized to help me win my first campaign. And who have kept on organizing to help fight for the people. Who needed us kids facing bullet. Seniors worried about the price of prescription drugs native Americans. Who have been overlooked for far too long. Working people who have been taking him on the chin for a generation every one in the middle class and every one aspiring. The joint. I have faith in the proud legacy of progressive. Advocacy that I have had the privilege to be a part of I think I've probably repeated these words. 101000 times over the years. Paul Wellstone famous quote. The future belongs to those who are passionate. And work hard. It's still threw. It won't always be true. And most of all I have faith in Minnesota. A big part of this job is going around the state. And listening to what people need from Washington but more often than not. When I'm home I am blown away. By how much Minnesota has to offer the entire country and the entire world. The people I've had the honor of representing our brilliant and creative and hard working. And whoever holds his seat backs. Or Erica challenge I've. Enjoyed for the last eight and a half years. Being as good as the people you serve. This has been a tough few weeks for me. But I am a very very lucky man. I have a beautiful. Healthy family. But I love. And that loves me very much I'm going to be just fine. I'd just like me and with. What one last thing. I did not grow up wanting to be a politician. I came to this. Relatively late in life. I had to learn a lot on the fly. It wasn't easy and it wasn't always farm and him not just talking about today. This is a hard thing to do. When your life. There are a lot of long hours. Late nights. And hard lessons. And there is no guarantee you that. All your work and sacrifice will ever pay off. I want my first election by 312. Votes. Could have easily gone the other way. And even when you win. Progress is far from inevitable. Paul Wellstone who spent his whole life. Working for mental health parity. And it didn't pass until six years. After Paul died. This year a lot of people who didn't grow up imagining that they'd ever get involved in politics. Have done just that. They've gone to their first protest marked. And made their first call to a member of congress. Or maybe even taken the leap in put their names on a ballot for the first time. It can be such a rush. The look around the room of fault people ready to. Fight alongside you. Feel that energy. Imagine a better things are possible. When you two will experience setbacks and defeats and disappointments. From the capitol senator Al Franken who said he would be resigning from the US senate in the coming weeks amid allegations of sexual harassment.