Disgraced Democratic Senator Al Franken Plots Comeback With New Radio Show

Al Franken/ Twitter Screenshot
September 25, 2019

Disgraced former senator Al Franken (D., Minn.) is attempting to make a comeback with a new SiriusXM radio show focused on politics and culture.

Franken, who resigned from the Senate in 2018 after eight women accused him of touching or kissing them without their consent, will debut the show on Saturday with fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus Chris Rock as his first guest, according to Roll Call. Former senator Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Ernest Moniz, energy secretary during the Obama administration, will also appear on the show.

"When I'm interviewing Harry or former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, I'll be the funny one," Franken said in a statement. "When I interview Rock or Patton Oswalt, I'll be the one who served eight-and-a-half years in the Senate."

Franken's radio show is not the first project the former senator has launched in an attempt to re-enter public life since his resignation. In May, he started "The Al Franken Podcast." Liberal activists and lawmakers embraced the show. He interviewed nearly two dozen guests, including Voto Latino president Maria Teresa Kumar, former senator Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.), and Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, during the podcast's run.

Franken received pressure from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and several other female Democratic senators in 2017 after Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden alleged that Franken forcibly kissed her and groped her breasts while she was sleeping during a 2006 USO Tour. Seven other women came forward with similar accounts of sexual misconduct following Tweeden's accusation.

While some Democrats, such as Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), have expressed regrets for rushing to call for Franken's resignation, Gillibrand has defended her decision. Gillibrand, a former presidential candidate, said she would "do it again today" in a July interview.

Franken's radio show will debut at 10am on Saturday.