Al Franken issued a new apology Friday after two more women accused the Minnesota senator of inappropriate touching.
The two women anonymously stepped forward in a Huffington Post report, with both women claiming that Franken touched their buttocks during separate campaign events.
The first woman claimed that Franken grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo with Franken at a 2007 rally, while the other woman accused Franken of cupping her buttock and then suggesting they visit the bathroom together at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser.
Both incidents were similar to the allegations levied on Franken by his second accuser Lindsay Menz, who said that Franken groped her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. TV host Leeann Tweedan was the first to accuse Franken of inappropriate touching.
Following the new allegations, Franken released a new statement apologizing for his actions.
“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations,” Franken said (via The Associated Press). “I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women — 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.”
Franken added, “I’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 I’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 I’m sorry for putting them through this and I’m committed to regaining their trust.”
Franken’s new statement comes after the senator’s former Saturday Night Live female cast mates penned a letter defending him as “a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer and an honorable public servant.”