What Sen. Al Franken didn't say in his resignation speech - Bring Me The News

What Sen. Al Franken didn't say in his resignation speech

We've all seen what the senator said – but what did he leave out?

We've all seen or heard what Sen. Al Franken said in his resignation announcement Thursday. (If you didn't, you can watch or read the entire thing here.)

But what about the things he didn't say?

We take a look at five things he failed mention, and what questions – if any – it leaves us with.

When he's resigning

Sen. Franken will be stepping aside at some point. When, exactly? That was left open-ended, with Franken giving a timeline of "in the coming weeks."

Is there anything he might want to stick around for? Yes.

The Senate session is almost over. Once Dec. 15 hits, they're supposed to be done until 2018.

"Supposed to" being the key words.

There's a big budget battle going on right now. Congress passed a two-week stop-gap budget, but that only lasts until Dec. 22, the Washington Post explains. Lawmakers will need to agree to another deal by then – or face a government shutdown.

Which allegations are and aren't true

Franken was always careful to not outright deny most of the inappropriate touching claims – but also never clearly stated that yes, they happened. It often came across as wishy-washy

He briefly explained his thinking during the resignation speech, though didn't provide a clear answer.


All of the inappropriate behavior accusations against Sen. Al Franken

Franken said he "wanted to be respectful" of the broader conversation regarding sexual harassment and assault, because "all women deserve to be heard, and their experiences taken seriously."

But by doing so he now thinks it "gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven’t done." 

He continued: "Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others, I remember very differently."

Beyond that, he offered no specific denials or admissions.

'I'm sorry'

At no point in his resignation remarks did Franken apologize. 

He said he was "shocked" and "upset" upon hearing the claims, and spoke about the importance of the cultural conversation happening. But that's it.

To be fair, he had apologized, and multiple times, after Leeann Tweeden made her story public (which Tweeden accepted). And after the next three accusers, Franken said he was "so sorry" for making some women feel badly.

But some people would have liked that to be reiterated Thursday.

"Donald Trump" or "Roy Moore"

But even without saying their actual names, Franken made a clear, cutting reference to both.

"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 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."

What comes next

It doesn't sound like Franken plans to fade into the background.

He said he won't be giving up his "voice," adding: "I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen, and as an activist."

In what capacity isn't really clear.

Would he run for public office again? Will he return to his roots, and try to secure a spot in the entertainment or news space? Might he lead local movements to organize around causes he cares about, or found some nonprofits?

Opportunities will be there.

Whether his reputation can bounce back, or is damaged beyond repair, will determine how plentiful they are.

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