A frustrated Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., stood on the Senate floor Thursday morning and announced his resignation from the Senate, following weeks of sexual assault allegations that ultimately prompted his own party to abandon him.
Franken admitted to none of the allegations against him, but said it's time for him to step down nonetheless.
"Today, I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate," Franken said. A spokesperson for Franken said no date has been set yet for his departure.
Franken made it clear on the Senate floor that he wasn't happy with the decision, and insisted, as he has for the last few weeks, that not all of the accusations against him are accurate.
"Some of the allegations against me are simply not true," he said. "Others I remember very differently."
He said that when he was first accused, he was "shocked" and "upset," and said he was trying to be respectful of the women bringing the charges. On Thursday, he said he now worries that sounded like an admission of guilt.
"I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that in fact I haven't done," he said.
"I know there's been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am," Franken added later.
Franken made a point of noting that Republicans who are facing similar accusations, including President Trump, have yet to take responsibility in the same way he did today.
"I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party," Franken said.
His resignation is the latest example of the power of the "#MeToo" movement that has seen women publicize sexual harassment and assault against them at the hands of powerful men in Hollywood, Washington and the media.
The deciding factor for Franken was his seventh accuser, who said Franken tried to forcibly kiss her and said it was his right as someone in the entertainment business.
“It’s my right as an entertainer," he allegedly said.
Franken denied the allegation. But many of his Democratic colleagues who had been willing to wait out a Senate Ethics Committee investigation had enough.
Seven Democratic women in the Senate quickly called for Franken to resign, led by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a move that appeared to seal Franken's fate. Other senators joining her were Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Kamala Harris of California, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Patty Murray of Washington.
Along with the group of senators, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also said that the second-term Minnesota senator should step down.
The allegations against Franken started with Leeann Tweeden, a former model and current TV anchor in Los Angeles, who said Franken forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in 2006. She also released a photo showing Franken smiling while grabbing her breasts while she was asleep.
Franken apologized several times, but said over the last few weeks that he didn't recall any of the incidents, and never admitted to any of the allegations outside of the photo released by Tweeden. Other allegations have included him allegedly grabbing a female's buttocks at a state fair, and two women accusing him of improper touching at political events in 2007 and 2008.
Stephanie Kemplin, the fifth accuser, said that Franken touched her breast in 2003 USO tour. A sixth accuser, a former elected official in New England, said that Franken tried to kiss her onstage at a 2006 event.