Things got heated on Monday’s episode of “The View” when Joy Behar took Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand to task over her push to get former senator Al Franken to resign following accusations of sexual misconduct.
The interview started off in a pretty contentious way, with Behar admitting that she had a bone to pick with the senator. She wanted to know why she, a fellow Democrat, pushed so hard to see Franken resign his position when president Donald Trump has more accusations of sexual misconduct against him.
“I know that you led the charge to get Al Franken to resign from the Senate,” she said. “I just thought that was unfair, to make him an example when the President of the United States has so many allegations of sexual harassment against him and I don’t see him going anywhere.”
Gillibrand conceded that she believes Trump should resign over the allegations against him.
“He should be held accountable. I haven't heard that from any Republicans.” she said. “Because he’s unwilling to resign, Congress should be doing hearings. Where are all the hearings on all these allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment? He should be held accountable.”
Behar pushed harder asking for her to comment on why she led the charge to have Franken, who was accused by eight women of sexual misconduct and served his last day in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 2, resign.
“But why did you push Franken out?” she asked. “How about a hearing first?”
“He’s entitled to a hearing,” Gillibrand fired back. “But he’s not entitled to my silence, Joy.”
Gillibrand, who still calls Franken a friend, went on to explain that the conversation surrounding sexual misconduct and the #MeToo movement is one of absolutes. She said that if she finds herself explaining to her two boys the right and wrong places they can touch a woman’s body, they’re having the wrong conversation.
“It’s not OK to grab women without their consent,” she said when Behar pushed her on the false equivalency Franken’s resignation creates. “So why would you want to hold our elected leaders to the lower standard and not the highest standard? We should be holding all our elected leaders to the highest standard. I can’t be a good mother, and I can’t be a good senator if I’m silenced just because he’s my friend.”
Behar and Gillibrand found common ground on the issue when Behar noted that she believes Republicans are giving Trump a pass. Gillibrand agreed, but noted that as the reason her fighting for a bipartisan zero tolerance policy on such matters is the most effective way to approach the issue of sexual misconduct in our government.
You can check out the heated exchange in the video below, starting at the 1:50 mark.