Senator Al Franken formally announced plans to resign from office on Thursday and, as expected, reactions are mixed.
Patton Oswalt commended Franken for the move after the politician was accused of sexual misconduct, while Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) joked about how now “we are free of all sexual predators in the U.S. government.” (Roy Moore, the Alabama judge running for Senate, has been accused of sexual misconduct with minors, while President Trump has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual harassment and assault.)
On the other side of Franken’s announcement is Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted, “…because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and God-darnit people like me. #Franken.” Gov. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, called Franken’s speech “stunning” over the “lack of contrition or apology.”
“Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” Franken said in a speech delivered to the Senate floor on Thursday.
In reference to Trump and Moore, he continued, “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 assaults 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. But this decision is not about me, it’s about the people of Minnesota and it has become clear that I can’t both pursue the ethics committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for them.”
The senator, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, said, “some of the allegations against me are simply not true, others I remember very differently.”
Radio host Leeann Tweeden, who claimed Franken groped her and forced her to kiss him during a USO tour, read aloud on The View an apology letter from the senator. “I remember that rehearsal differently, but what’s important is that [sic] the impact it had on you and you felt violated by my actions, and for that I apologize,” it read in part.
Franken issued a new apology in November, stating, “I feel terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again.”
Watch his resignation announcement below, via PBS News Hour.
Before Franken announced his impending resignation, celebrities like Alyssa Milano, Amber Tamblyn, and Maggie Gyllenhaal also called out the hypocrisy of the situation.
“At the very same time that we are asking Franken to resign from senate — we are allowing an accused child molester to run for senate. At the very same time that ‘Silence Breakers‘ is the #TimePersonOfTheYear — a self professed p–sy grabber was runner-up,” Milano tweeted.
“If you’ve made an effort calling for Franken to resign yet Roy Moore wins the Alabama election, you are part of the problem,” Tamblyn remarked, while Gyllenhaal called for “congressional hearings” for Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct.
See more reactions below.