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Franken apologizes for making ‘some women feel badly’

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Sen. Al Franken released a statement Thursday addressing recent allegations of sexual harassment.

Franken, a Democrat, said that he feels terrible that he “made some women feel badly.”

“I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations,” the statement said. “I’m a warm person; I hug people. I’ve learned from recent stories that in some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many.”

Franken’s statement came just days after a woman said he grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo with her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. She was the first person to allege that Franken engaged in improper touching while he was in office.

“Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that,” Franken said in the statement. “I’ve thought a lot in recent days about how that could happen, and recognize that I need to be much more careful and sensitive in these situations.”

“I feel terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again,” the statement said. “And let me say again to Minnesotans that I’m sorry for putting them through this and I’m committed to regaining their trust.”

Last week, Leeann Tweeden, a local radio news anchor in California, publicly accused Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her in 2006, when Franken was a comedian.

Franken has since issued an apology to Tweeden and is facing a potential investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee.