Sen. Al Franken reversed course on Thursday, saying it would “be best” not to appear at a promotional event with his “friend” Kathy Griffin after the comedienne received an avalanche of criticism this week stemming from her decision to take a photo with the bloody, severed head of a replica President Trump.
Franken, D-Minn., was due to appear with Griffin on July 7 at a Beverly Hills event promoting his book “Giant of the Senate.”
“I believe what Kathy Griffin did was inappropriate and not something that should be anywhere in our national discourse. I consider her a friend and I'm glad she realized she crossed the line and apologized,” Franken told Politico.
“After hearing from many Minnesotans who were rightfully offended, I've come to the conclusion that it would be best for her not to participate in the event we had previously scheduled. I understand why Minnesotans were upset by this, and I take that very seriously.”
Franken, a former writer and cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” had initially appeared to stand by Griffin, who has contributed to Franken’s Senate campaign.
“I think she did the right thing asking for forgiveness and acknowledging that this is a horrible mistake, so I think she can,” Franken told “New Day” on Wednesday.
Franken, one of the Senate’s most liberal members, is up for reelection in 2020 and could face a more moderate Minnesota landscape. Though Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016, she did so by a thin margin, beating Trump by only about 45,000 votes for a 46.4-to-44.9 percent edge.