Al Franken wishes mightily he hadn't resigned as U.S. Senator in wake of sexual misconduct allegations ... saying he should have put up a fight because he denies he did anything wrong.
The former Senator from Minnesota told The New Yorker he can't go anywhere without people telling him he should NOT have resigned back in December 2017. Franken says, in retrospect, he should have appeared before the Senate Ethics Committee to keep his job.
Franken put some U.S. Senators in his crosshairs, saying they pressured him to resign without due process. At the time, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand were spearheading the calls for him to resign.
As we reported ... at least 7 women came forward accusing Franken of sexual misconduct. Radio host Leeann Tweeden was first to accuse him in November 2018 ... posting a photo allegedly showing he groped her and also sexually harassed her during a USO trip in 2006.
Franken says the photo with Tweeden was taken out of context, after people asked him to take a photo, and it was one of many shots of him "goofing around." He acknowledges he should never have done it because Leeann was asleep and did not give consent. But, he does say, her version of events "is just not true."
Franken says after he resigned he became clinically depressed and needed medication.
More accusers later came forward ... claiming everything from unwanted groping to attempts of forcible kissing, all of which he denies. Franken -- a rising star in Washington and a fiercely effective critic of the Trump administration -- apologized time and again ... but many still called for him to step down.
When he stepped down, Franken took a parting shot at President Trump and former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore saying, "I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party."