Al Franken apologized today and said he feels "embarrassed" and "ashamed" of his behavior in light of recent accusations of sexual harassment, USA Today reports. At a press conference outside his Senate office as he returned to work, the Minnesota senator told reporters, "To all of you I just want to again say I am sorry. I know there are no magic words I can say to regain your trust and I know that's going to take time. I'm ready to start that process and it starts with going back to work today." Franken also said, "This will not happen again going forward." At least four women have accused Franken of inappropriate sexual behavior.
The first story broke on Nov. 16, when radio personality Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during a USO tour, before Franken was a senator. Tweeden also shared a photograph that she said showed Franken grabbing her breasts while she was asleep. Since then, three other women have accused Franken of groping them while posing for photographs, two during his 2008 campaign and one since he joined the Senate. In the press conference, Franken brushed off questions about stepping down—CBS News notes he wouldn't speak to how serious an accusation would have to be in order to trigger a senator's resignation—but he did say he would "gladly cooperate" with a Senate ethics investigation. (Read more Al Franken stories.)