Franken makes first public appearance in Minn. since announcing resignation

Franken makes first public appearance in Minn. since announcing resignation

Franken on Thursday described Smith as a "friend" who is "worthy of the incredible support that I've received".

Sen. Al Franken thanked his supporters in Minnesota on Thursday in his first public appearance in his home state since he announced his plans to resign earlier this month amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

Franken has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct.

His fall came after Los Angeles radio personality Leann Tweeden released a photo of Franken apparently groping her while she was sleeping during a USO tour in 2006. Franken got emotional while thanking his family, especially his wife, Franni, for standing by him as he served in the Senate. "Politics is a hard job".

"A lot of those folks would laugh if you described them as political power players", Franken said.

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"Whatever it is that we do next we will do it together", the former Saturday Night Live writer said. "They knew what I believed in, but they didn't know whether they could believe in in me....all these years later, I am deeply proud of the work that I have been able to do for Minnesotans". "I am here tonight to say, 'Thank you'". "I could not have asked for a better mentor in the United States Senate". Franken disputed or denied numerous accounts.

"Here is my promise to you: I may be leaving the Senate, but I am not giving up my voice", Franken said.

"We still have a lot of work to do together on issues ranging from net neutrality to climate change", Franken said.

Overall, half of the 671 Minnesotans interviewed thought he should not resign, compared with 42 percent who think he should go through with his planned resignation January 2.

Franken will officially step down from the Senate on Tuesday, with his successor - Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith - scheduled to be sworn in Wednesday to complete Franken's term, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

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