Al Franken’s talk to Jewish group is first public speech since resigning Senate


(JTA) — Al Franken addressed a Jewish group, reportedly the first public speech he has delivered since resigning from the Senate 19 months ago.

He spoke on Sunday to the Jewish Family Service of St. Paul, Minnesota Post columnist Eric Black reported.

Franken did not discuss the facts and circumstances that led to his resignation from the Senate, as he has not in any forum since his resignation.

Late last month Franken started “The Al Franken Podcast,” amid speculation that he is considering a political comeback.

In his talk, at the Midpointe Event Center, he shared biographical anecdotes and political commentary, according to Black. He mocked President Trump’s failure to come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act and his denials of climate change.

The event was billed as a “Celebration of Service.”

Franken resigned from the U.S. Senate in December 2017 in the wake of calls for him to step down following accusations of sexual misconduct by several women. At the time of his resignation he said on the floor of the Senate that some of the allegations against him were untrue and that he “remembered very differently” some of the other incidents.

Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” performer and writer who was first elected to the Senate in 2008, apologized before his resignation to Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles radio host, who said he forcibly kissed and groped her during a 2006 tour of military bases. Tweeden released a photo showing Franken posing with his hands hovering over her chest as she naps wearing a flak vest aboard a military plane.

Other women allege Franken grabbed their buttocks while posing with them for photos during separate campaign events in 2007, 2008 and 2010. An unnamed former Democratic congressional aide told Politico that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, three years before he became a U.S. senator.

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