UPDATED with details: Make that 14 Democratic Senators who now are calling for Franken to step down.
Previous: Sen. Al Franken said Wednesday afternoon that he will make a statement Thursday morning, after a seventh woman claiming the former Saturday Night Live writer/performer harassed her set off a stampede of Dem senators demanding his resignation.
Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee also called on the Minnesota’s senator to step down after 10 Dem senators demanded he resign. An 11th joined the herd later.
This after an unnamed former Democratic Congressional aide told political web site Politico that Franken tried to force a kiss from her in 2006 at the end of one of Franken’s radio shows, claiming it was “my right as an entertainer.”
Franken has called this latest allegation “categorically not true,” after previously mostly sticking to various iterations of a got-no-recollection-but-apologize response to earlier allegations, saying he would gladly cooperate with a Senate Ethics Committee probe.
The former Democratic congressional aide said Franken made his move after her boss had left the room. “It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it…. and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer,’” Politico reported.
Responded Franken: “This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous. I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation.”
Among the Dem senators calling on Franken to step down and not wait for the investigation: Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Patty Murray of Washington, Kamala Harris of California and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Bob Casey of Pennsylannia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
And, the chairman of the DNC:
Sen. Al Franken should step down. Everyone must share the responsibility of building a culture of trust and respect for women in every industry and workplace, and that includes our party.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) December 6, 2017