Sen. Al Franken Admits No Guilt and Offers No Apology in Bizarre Resignation Speech

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has resigned following several allegations of sexual assault.


Franken delivered one of the most oddball speeches a man accused of inappropriately touching and forcing himself onto at least eight different women has ever delivered.

Franken admitted no fault and issued no apology to the alleged victims; in fact, he noted that many of the accusations against him weren’t true and that the others were completely different from the way that he remembers them. Which is the equivalent of saying, I didn’t do it and if I did, I don’t remember it that way. Franken also took the opportunity to take full-on swings at President Donald Trump and Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore, both of whom have been marred by sexual assault allegations.

“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony that I am leaving while a man who’s bragged on tape 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,” Franken said.

No, Franken, your party doesn’t support you, but that support should’ve left your side three weeks ago when the first allegations came to light.

Make no mistake about it: This recent rally by Democrats to call for Franken’s resignation had very little to do with the women he reportedly molested, and everything to do with Democrats trying to establish a moral high ground in the sexual assault arena against Republicans. This has everything to do with Democrats wanting to create a belief that they are tough on their politicians while Republicans have not been. The reality is that this is politics at its lowest level, and neither group is without stain. Democrats and Republicans are both deplorable in this #MeToo era.

Nevertheless, Franken is gone, and the Democrats have their fall guy. They have someone that they can point to rightfully as proof that they know how to handle their own. But the Dems’ late push to call for his resignation, and Franken’s bitter and reluctant resignation speech, are proof that in politics, the emphasis isn’t on the victims but on the ideology to establish headway in later fights.


Franken didn’t resign because he had a call to conscience; he resigned because he was an anchor pulling the Dems’ boat to a full stop. So he fell on his sword and admitted nothing and offered no apology because the victims have never been the focus. This has been merely political theater at its worst.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



I found his speech incredibly disappointing as well. It’s clear that he still does not get it. He was handed a gilded microphone under the brightest possible spotlight to acknowledge that he is not the victim here. That his white male privilege led him to believe that his actions were acceptable, but he was wrong, and there IS NO PLACE IN THE SENATE FOR MEN THAT OBJECTIFY WOMEN. Full stop. Protecting the civil rights of all women to work and exist in public life is more important than party, more important than politics, no matter which side of the aisle you fall on. I’m glad that he’s gone.