Amid his first public appearance in his home state of Minnesota since resigning from Congress in December in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, former Democratic Senator Al Franken made one thing known: He would still like to be working in politics.
"I put my heart in the job,” Franken told CBS affiliate WCCO-TV in an exclusive interview. “I miss the whole job. I loved that job. I loved the job as Senator."
When asked if he was contemplating a return to political office, the former senator admitted that he had not yet ruled out the possibility.
“If I say anything there, you will put it in the story. I don’t know," he told reporter Esme Murphy. "I haven’t ruled it out. I haven’t ruled it in.”
Franken was accompanied by three current members of Congress from Minnesota at the unveiling of the new Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. While in the Senate, he served as a member of the Indian Affairs Committee for eight years. According to WCCO, Franken received numerous standing ovations during the ceremony.
Franken's wife Franni, whom he married 42 years ago, admitted that adjusting to life after her husband's resignation had "been a challenge" for the couple.
“But we do get to spend more time together," she said. "And I think there are times that both us would like spend less time together."
Franken worked as a cast member and writer for "Saturday Night Live" for almost two decades before being elected to the Senate in 2008. After nearly 10 years in politics, Franken stepped down over allegations from multiple women that he had groped them or engaged in other forms of inappropriate sexual conduct.
"You knew exactly what you're doing," the first accuser, radio host Leean Tweeden, wrote in a blog post. "You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later and be ashamed."
Franken submitted to an ethics investigation but stated, “I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator – nothing – has brought dishonor on this institution.” And, in his final speech before Congress, he took on Republican President Donald Trump in the wake of the infamous Access Hollywood tapes. "I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office," Franken said.