Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand defended her call in 2017 for former Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations, saying during a Fox News Town Hall Sunday she chose not to “remain silent” on the issue.
Gillibrand responded by referencing a conversation she had with her oldest son Theo on the issue.
“It’s not OK to forcibly kiss a woman ever without her consent. It’s not OK for Senator Franken and it’s not OK for you,” Gillibrand said she told her son.
“I needed to have clarity on that and I was not going to remain silent. I couldn’t defend it and I wasn’t going to defend it. That was my decision,” Gillibrand added. “Senator Franken’s decision was whether or not he wanted to resign, whether or not he wanted to wait to his next election. But if a few Democratic donors are angry because I stood by eight women including a young woman who works in Congress that’s on them.”
Gillibrand was the first Democratic senator to call on Franken to resign after eight women accused the senator and former “Saturday Night Live” writer of sexual misconduct.
The allegations came at the height of the #MeToo movement following allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and others.
Franken resigned in January 2018.
Wallace also asked Gillibrand about allegations she was an “opportunist” and comments she made regarding former President Bill Clinton during the Franken scandal, telling The New York Times he should have stepped down during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
“As you know some people in the Clinton team said ‘Gee you were very comfortable with Bill Clinton when you took Hillary Clinton’s position in the Senate and had the support of the Clintons’ and this in effect they accuse you of being an opportunist,” Wallace asked Gillibrand.
The New York senator deflected, saying she had been “clear on that issue.”
“Well, I was pretty clear on that issue but all of these questions that we’re talking about today, Chris, are really going to this issue of ‘do we value women?’” Gillibrand said.
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