ON "60 MINUTES," SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND DEFENDS HER CONDEMNATION OF FORMER SENATOR AL FRANKEN
Puts "Moral Compass" Ahead of Party Loyalty, and Says Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned 20 Years Ago over Monica Lewinsky Scandal
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) defends her early call for former Sen. Al Franken to resign over sexual harassment allegations in an interview with Sharyn Alfonsi for this Sunday's 60 MINUTES. The decision made by the New York senator was criticized by some fellow Democrats for being hasty and disloyal. The interview with Gillibrand will be broadcast Sunday, Feb. 11 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Gillibrand was the first senator to publicly call for Franken - a friend - to step down last December after eight women accused him of sexual misconduct, including inappropriate touching. Franken was hoping a congressional investigation would allow him to keep his seat. He resigned not long after Gillibrand and others demanded that he do so.
"We just heard allegation after allegation. They were credible allegations. I believed the women," says Gillibrand.
Pressed as to why she didn't wait for all the facts to come out in an investigation, Gillibrand was firm. "Where's my moral compass if I can't speak out just because I like someone? Just because they're my friend? It's okay to be a harasser as long as you're my friend? That is not okay," she tells Alfonsi.
"He's entitled to as much due process as he wants. He doesn't ever have to resign. That's his choice. And my choice is to speak out," says Gillibrand, who has emerged as the political face of the #MeToo movement.
Amid the Franken allegations in November and before she called for his resignation, Gillibrand said publicly that Bill Clinton should have resigned from his presidency 20 years ago for his affair with then-intern Monica Lewinsky. Both Hillary and Bill Clinton had campaigned for Gillibrand. Why make that call now? Gillibrand points out that times have changed with the election of President Donald Trump. "All of us. I think I'm not alone here... how many of us were having this conversation even a year ago?"
Asked if she has spoken with the still politically potent Clintons, Gillibrand says, "Well, I don't want to talk about that, but I can tell you one thing... Hillary Clinton is still my greatest role model in politics."
Follow 60 MINUTES on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.