Al Franken: ‘Keeping My Options Open’ on Running Again


Former Sen. Al Franken told The Republican that he is “keeping my options open” on whether to run for public office again.

The Minnesota Democrat resigned his seat at the beginning of 2018 following accusations of sexual misconduct.

Franken told the Massachusetts-based newspaper that since then there have been nine public apologies from former colleagues who now acknowledge that he did not receive fair treatment.

“Well, I wanted due process, but I had 36 colleagues and a majority leader who wouldn’t give it to me, so it was impossible,” Franken said “But you do have some regrets. It was a very weird, tough situation at that moment. I love the Senate. I love the work that I did.”

When asked if  he will he ever run again, Franken said, “I’m keeping my options open. Right now my focus is on doing this (standup tour) and doing other stuff that is more politically blatant.”

Franken, who was a founding writer and later cast member on “Saturday Night Live” before he was elected to the Senate in 2008, is beginning a comedy tour called “The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour” later this month, The Hill reported.

He told The Republican that “I’ve always tried to make a difference satirically. Because I believe comedy and satire is a very valid way — and sometimes almost a more productive way — of affecting public opinion.”

Franken told The New Yorker in 2019 that he “absolutely” regretted resigning.

Seven of his former Senate colleagues told the magazine at the time that they also regretted putting pressure on him to step down, with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., calling his decision to support Franken’s resignation before learning more facts about the accusations “one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made” in 45 years in the Senate.