US senator Al Franken to quit over harassment allegations

Washington: Democratic senator Al Franken told the senate on Thursday that while he will be resigning over sexual harassment allegations in the coming weeks, a man who bragged about his history of sexual assaults sits in the Oval Office.

Franken’s announcement came amid calls from his Democratic colleagues to step down in the wake of new allegations of sexual misconduct.

Franken, 66, was seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party and he considered himself as a champion of women. He insisted that as a senator, he did not bring dishonour on the institution.

Several women have accused him of groping. He said some of the allegations against him are simply not true and others he remembered differently.

Recently, a staffer said he forcibly tried to kiss her in 2006 after his radio show. When she tried to resist, he said “it’s my right as an entertainer”.

Another woman said he inappropriately squeezed her waist while posing for a photo with her in 2009.

Referring to President Donald Trump and Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, Franken said, “I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while “a man who has bragged about sexual assaults sits in the Oval Office and a man accused of sexual wrongdoing with under-aged women is campaigning with the full backing of his party.”

Seven women have accused Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court judge, of sexual misconduct. One of them said he molested her when she was 14 while he was in his thirties.

A waitress said the judge tried to rape her after he offered her a ride home from her workplace.