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Al Franken Resigns

Temp 21In a statement CNN calls "totally unapologetic," Minnesota Senator Al Franken has resigned. Although he was awaiting an ethics committee investigation, more women have come forward in the meantime reporting similar incidents of groping and forced kissing.

A group of more than 30 senators led by New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand called for his resignation. In a Facebook post titled "Senator Franken Should Step Aside," Gillibrand wrote that she is "shocked and disappointed" by his behavior, and she referred to this time as "a watershed moment."

Franken read a statement on the Senate floor, including this section:

"Over the last few weeks, a number of women have come forward to talk about how they felt my actions had affected them. I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claim, 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 it gave some people the 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."

He also pointed to others accused:

"I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party. But this decision is not about me. It's about the people of Minnesota."

A CNN editor summarizes Franken's statement: 

"The message of all this is clear as day: I didn't do anything really wrong. The people who say I did are wrong or don't remember it right. And it's ridiculous that people like Trump and Moore are in the White House and might be in the Senate, respectively, while I am being forced out."

Discussion:

  • Do you agree with the CNN writer's assessment that Franken doesn't really apologize? Why or why not?
  • Watch Franken's full statement and assess his delivery skills. How well does he use tone, gestures, and so on to support his message?