Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks announced Thursday that he is resigning from his office, amid rumors of inappropriate behavior. He released a statement explaining why he chose to step down.
Here’s the report of the resignation from MSNBC News:
BREAKING: NBC confirms that GOP Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) is preparing to resign. @Kasie reports the latest on #MTPDaily pic.twitter.com/dmf5qENuTT
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 7, 2017
What did he say about the report?
Franks released a statement explaining that he had asked two female staffers if they would be interested in serving as a surrogate for him. He says they felt uncomfortable with the suggestion.
“I have always tried to create a very warm and supportive atmosphere for every last person who has ever worked in my congressional office. It is my deepest conviction that there are many staffers, former and present, who would readily volunteer to substantiate this fact,” he wrote.
“Given the nature of numerous allegations and reports across America in recent weeks, I want to first make one thing completely clear. I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff,” he explained. “However, I do want to take full and personal responsibility for the ways I have broached a topic that, unbeknownst to me until very recently, made certain individuals uncomfortable. And so, I want to shed light on how those conversations came about.”
“My wife and I have long struggled with infertility. We experienced three miscarriages,” he continued. “We pursued adoption on more than one occasion only to have the adoptive mothers in each case change their mind prior to giving birth.”
Franks goes on to say that he does not think he did anything wrong, but the climate would not let him continue to serve effectively as a congressman.
“But in the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation,” he said. “Rather than allow a sensationalized trial by media damage those things I love most, this morning I notified House leadership that I will be leaving Congress as of January 31st, 2018.”
“It is with the greatest sadness, that for the sake of the causes I deeply love,” he concluded, “I must now step back from the battle I have spent over three decades fighting. I hope my resignation will remain distinct from the great gains we have made. My time in Congress serving my constituents, America and the Constitution is and will remain one of God’s greatest gift to me in life.”
Conservative Freedom Caucus member
Franks was first elected to Congress in 2002, and was one of the first to join the Tea Party. He is a member of the conservative “Freedom Caucus” group of members of the House. He considered running for the Senate in 2012, but decided against it.