Disgraced former Sen. Al Franken was invited to speak at a DFL fundraiser in Hibbing Saturday less than two weeks after he was accused of sexual harassment by a ninth woman. DFL Chairman Ken Martin was in attendance and praised Franken when addressing the crowd of supporters.
The fundraiser was closed to the media but a reporter with the Hibbing Daily Tribune paid the admission fee for access to the event and recorded the entirety of Franken’s remarks.
Minnesota Democrats hosted the fundraiser at the Crown Ballroom on Saturday, October 12 in downtown Hibbing. Franken, whose latest accusation of sexual harassment came on September 30, received a standing ovation when he was introduced by State Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm).
“Some of us think he should not have resigned,” said Tomassoni, according to the Hibbing Daily Tribune.
Franken’s 30-minute speech touched on a number of topics, including the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump and the reports of foreign money donated to a PAC that helped Rep. Pete Stauber’s (R-MN-08) campaign.
Global Energy Producers, a company created by two Ukrainians who were recently indicted, contributed $325,000 to America First Action, which spent $3.3 million on ads against Stauber’s opponent.
“This is an independent expenditure, so Stauber can easily say, ‘Well, I’m not supposed to know about this. I didn’t know about it.’ He can say that, but he hasn’t said that. He hasn’t said it because he’s said nothing,” Franken shouted. “Nothing about it! He hasn’t condemned this at all. What the hell? Is he so afraid of Trump? Is he so afraid of Emmer?”
“Shame on Stauber. Shame on him,” Franken said to applause.
“Can you imagine—you find out that this foreign money came in for your campaign to help you and it’s two days later and you haven’t said a damn thing,” he continued. “There’s something really rotten in this country. The something really rotten is Donald Trump.”
“He hasn’t been impeached yet, and we don’t know for sure whether he’s going to be impeached, although he should be,” Franken said, admitting that “Mueller kind of blew it.”
Franken said he thinks Robert Mueller should have recommended an impeachment inquiry in his report.
“So all he had to say was, ‘Well, I’m not going to indict you because the office of legal counsel says you can’t indict your president, but the House should take up an impeachment inquiry,’” Franken said. “That’s what he should have said and he blew it because there were 10 impeachable instances of obstruction of justice.”
“I mean, I knew he was stupid,” Franken later said of Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine. “He is at the core the most corrupt president we have ever had.”
He later joked the president’s aides should lock him in the president’s bomb shelter for a few days.
Listen to the full recording here.