FRESNO, Calif. — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he would not have pressured Democrat Al Franken to resign from the Senate at the time some of his 2020 rivals did.
Buttigieg was asked about Franken at an MSNBC town hall Monday. Several of his Democratic presidential rivals had pushed for Franken's resignation following sexual harassment allegations, including forcible kissing and groping. He resigned under pressure in late 2017.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, says the way Democrats "basically held him to a higher standard than the GOP does their people has been used against us." He says he ultimately "would not have applied that pressure at that time before we knew more."
Among the Democrats who called for Franken's resignation were Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.