Heading to late night television in the midst of sexual misconduct claims on both sides of the aisle, Sen. Elizabeth Warren dodged a question on Sen. Al Franken Monday night. Speaking on The Late Show, Warren told host Stephen Colbert that she was "just enormously disappointed about this," but she stopped short of answering whether or not Franken step down from his Senate post. Instead she turned the conversation toward a more general discussion on sexual harassment and assault.
Colbert brought up the subject in the second segment speaking with the senator. "Al Franken, a comedian I’ve long admired and a politician I’ve recently admired, has been caught up in two accusations, one of which he’s acknowledged and apologized for,” Colbert said. “People are calling for Al Franken to step down. Do you think he should?”
To this, Warren, acknowledged knowing Franken and explained what would happen next. "So, look, I was just enormously disappointed about this,” Warren responded. “I knew Sen. Franken long before he was Sen. Franken, and his wife Franni. These allegations are serious, and women have a right to be heard and listened to on this. Al is going to be subjected to a hearing in the United States Senate, an investigation. We have had, for a long time now in the Senate, long before I got there, a bipartisan ethics committee that meets on a regular basis, and he’s going to go in and answer.”
But she didn't explicitly say whether or not she thinks Franken should resign. Warren chose to address the larger moment and many women's experiences instead. "Here's where I see this whole thing going right now, we’re going to watch this play out with famous men,” Warren told Colbert. “It’s happened in lots of places, lots of them are talked about, and this is a moment in America, as I see it, and the question is whether this is a moment that’s a big flash and then nothing really changes, nobody feels like they have to answer, or is this a moment when there’s real change?"
Then she explained what that would look like:
It’s going to be when there is accountability for famous people, but it’s more going to be when the shift manager decides that maybe giving the good shifts only to women who will play sex games back in the dressing room is not a good idea, and when the jerk over in accounting decides that pressing up against women who are caught at the photo copying machine might not be smart, and when the boss decides that telling those dirty jokes and talking about who’s got great boobs and a killer ass better rethink his management strategy.
"When that sort of thing happens for women all across this country,” Warren added, “then we’ll know there’s been real change."
For those who would say that she's being a hypocrite for not calling on Franken to step down, she also refrained from promising to exclude Roy Moore, saying that "we're not there yet." "We're still pre-election," Warren said. "I think we have a really good candidate from the Democratic side, and the people of Alabama need to get out there, and I hope they support that Democratic candidate."
Not the entire interview was so serious. Warren and Colbert first joked about how long Trump has been in office. "There were dog years, and now there are Trump years,” Warren said. “And boy it’s going to be hard."
"Usually the presidency ages him, but we're the ones getting older very quickly," Colbert shot back.
She also told Colbert that she's not focused on 2018 yet, despite the fact that everyone wants her to decide whether she's running or not. "We can’t play this game of every four years we’re going to get focused and we’re going to get active in politics," Warren said. The second segment of her interview proves just how true that is.