(CNSNews.com) -- Speaking on Capitol Hill, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) apologized for the sexual misconduct allegations against him and said he was not resigning.
“I am embarrassed, I feel ashamed," said Franken, a long-time liberal. "What I'm going to do is, I’m going to start my job. I’m going to go back to work, I'm going to work as hard as I can for the people of Minnesota and I'm going to start that right now."
A reporter asked Franken: "You made it clear that you're not going to resign your Senate seat. There have been a lot of accusiations against a lot of people in the conversation lately. In your view, what's the bar for someone like you to have to resign?"
Franken responded: “I am not going to get into that or speculate on that, I am certainly not going to talk to anybody else.”
He continued, “This is what I've been trying to do, I have been trying to take responsibility by apologizing. And by apologizing to the people I have let down. And I am going to work to regain their trust. I am going to be accountable. We are going to cooperate completely with the ethics investigation.”
Another reporter asked how his recollection differed from the women coming forward.
“There are different allegations, there’s the Leeann Tweeden -- Leeann and I were on the USO tour together and on the kiss at the rehearsal, we were rehearsing for a sketch," said Franken. "I said that I recalled that differently from Leeann but I feel that you have to respect women's experience. And so I apologize to her and I meant it and I was very grateful that she accepted it."
“As far as -- you know, I take a lot of pictures in Minnesota, thousands of pictures, tens of thousands of people, so those are instances that I do not remember," said the senator. "It has -- from the stories it has been clear that there are some women -- and one is too many -- who feel that I have done something disrespectful and for that I am tremendously sorry. And I know I am going to have to be much more conscious when in these circumstances, much more careful, much more sensitive, and that this will not happen again going forward."
"Again, it is going to take a long time for me to regain people's trust but I hope that starting work today that I can start to do that,” Franken said.
Franken began his remarks by saying, “I’ve let a lot of people down, the people of Minnesota, my colleagues, my staff, my supporters and everyone who has counted on me to be a champion for women. To all of you, I just want to again say, I am sorry. I know there are no magic words that I can say to regain your trust, I know that’s going to take time. I'm ready to start that process, and it starts with going back to work today.”
He also said he was “open” to making the findings of the ethics investigation public.
“I will be open to that, that’s going to be -- of course, I have not worked with the ethics committee before, and I don’t quite know how that works," said the senator. "I am certainly open to that. I also, I’m going to try to learn from my mistakes. In doing so I've been doing a lot of reflecting and I want to be someone who adds something to this conversation. I hope I can do that."