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Al Franken Acknowledges His Behavior "Crossed A Line" For Too Many Women

The Democratic senator's statement came a day after two more women said he touched them inappropriately.

Posted on November 23, 2017, at 11:58 p.m. ET

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Sen. Al Franken issued an apology on Thursday for having "crossed a line" in some encounters with women he has met, a day after two more women accused him of groping them.

The two unidentified women told HuffPo on Wednesday that the Democrat touched their buttocks while posing for a photo and at a fundraiser during his 2008 campaign for Senate. The second woman also said he propositioned her to join him the bathroom.

"My immediate reaction was disgust,โ€ the second woman told HuffPo. โ€œBut my secondary reaction was disappointment."

In his original statement to HuffPo on Wednesday, Franken said, โ€œItโ€™s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I donโ€™t remember those campaign events.โ€ He did, however, categorically deny ever asking a woman to join him in a bathroom.

But in a statement to the Minnesota Star Tribune on Thursday, Franken went further, acknowledging his behavior had crossed a line for "too many" women :

Iโ€™ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. Iโ€™m a warm person; I hug people. Iโ€™ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women โ€” and I know that any number is too many.

Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that. Iโ€™ve thought a lot in recent days about how that could happen, and recognize that I need to be much more careful and sensitive in these situations. I feel terribly that Iโ€™ve made some women feel badly and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again.

And let me say again to Minnesotans that Iโ€™m sorry for putting them through this and Iโ€™m committed to regaining their trust.

Those claims came in the wake of two other recent allegations, as well as a shocking photograph.

On Nov. 16, radio anchor Leeann Tweeden wrote in a blog post about Franken sexually harassing and forcibly kissing her in 2006 while the two were on a USO tour to perform for troops in the Middle East. She also shared a photo of him pretending to grope her while she was asleep.

Another woman, Lindsay Menz, then came forward with her story in a tweet last Thursday, detailing an incident in which Franken allegedly grabbed her butt while she posed for a photo with him in 2010 at the Minnesota State Fair.

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