Sanders Suggests Franken Should Not Step Down: ‘Al Is a Very Popular Senator’

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) did not give a direct response Sunday when asked whether Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) should step down following an accusation of sexual misconduct, although he suggested he wouldn't resign since "Al is a very popular senator."

CNN host Jake Tapper addressed the scandal gripping Franken on "State Of The Union."

A Los Angeles-based radio anchor wrote Franken aggressively kissed her without consent during a USO tour in 2006, and she also published a photo of Franken apparently groping her breasts while she slept. Franken apologized, and he said he would cooperate with an ethics investigation.

Sanders, who caucuses with the Democrats, issued a statement agreeing Franken should be investigated and called any sexual harassment "completely unacceptable."

"Do you think Al Franken should resign?" Tapper asked.

"I think that's a decision for Al Franken and the people of the state of Minnesota," Sanders said. "My understanding is that Al is a very popular senator. People in Minnesota think that he is doing a good job, and his political future will rest with the people of Minnesota."

Tapper also brought up Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) saying President Bill Clinton should have resigned from the White House over his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, and Sanders dodged on whether he agreed.

"Do you agree with Senator Gillibrand?" Tapper asked.

"I don't think that at this moment our goal is to look back 20 years or 30 years. Our goal is to go forward," Sanders said. "And our goal is to understand that we have a real crisis in this country today within the political world, within the corporate world, within the media world, where women are being harassed every single day, and our job is to change that culture."