STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Rep. Trent Franks' absolutely bizarre resignation letter

Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Ariz...

Posted: Dec 8, 2017 12:57 PM
Updated: Dec 8, 2017 12:57 PM

Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona announced Thursday night that is is resigning from Congress after being informed that the House Ethics Committee had opened an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment from two female former staffers.

What did Franks do, you ask? Let's let Franks tell you himself. Here's an excerpt from his statement announcing his resignation:

"Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others.

"I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable. I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress."

Um, what?

So, here's how the Franks statement -- in meticulous detail -- casts how this whole thing came about:

1. He and his wife had problems conceiving and carrying a baby to term. (Franks notes in the statement his wife had three miscarriages.)

2. Eventually they found a woman to be a surrogate. That woman gave birth to twins.

3. He and his wife wanted more children. So did their kids. ("We continued to have a desire to have at least one additional sibling, for which our children had made repeated requests," writes Franks.)

4. He discussed the possibility of surrogacy with two women who worked for him.

Simple enough!

Except not.

It's not entirely clear -- at least to me -- whether Franks was talking about surrogacy with the two staffers or asking them to actually be surrogates for his wife and him. Neither is good. One is worse.

Judging from the reaction by Speaker Paul Ryan -- well, I'll let you decide. Here's a snippet from the statement from Ryan's office about the whole thing:

"Last Wednesday, the speaker was briefed on credible claims of misconduct by Rep. Trent Franks. He found the allegations to be serious and requiring action. The next day, the speaker presented Rep. Franks with the allegations, which he did not deny. ... The speaker takes seriously his obligation to ensure a safe workplace in the House."

Regardless of the specifics, Franks' statement trying to explain himself is a mix of TMI and grasping attempts to rationalize his bizarre behavior -- flavored with just a pinch of media-bashing.

"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 31, 2018," Franks said in the closing lines of his statement.

Riiiiight. It was the "sensationalized trial by media" that's to blame here. Not the conversations about surrogacy with two female employees. Got it!

Franks' entire resignation statement is best understood as a guide on how not to resign from Congress. Like a bizarro "how to" guide.

My guidance for future resigning members of Congress? Be brief.

The end.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2012806

Reported Deaths: 51732
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings26711410025
Queens2656739604
Suffolk1945123323
Nassau1782353121
Bronx1760716405
New York1330424342
Westchester1262782246
Erie835241718
Richmond713901760
Monroe617161036
Orange46388782
Rockland45849946
Onondaga36254663
Dutchess28147438
Albany23800347
Oneida21556498
Niagara18486335
Broome17559348
Saratoga14517163
Ulster13159244
Schenectady12471193
Rensselaer10745136
Putnam1027491
Chautauqua8459137
Chemung7209133
Oswego703490
Ontario693992
Steuben6355142
St. Lawrence624695
Sullivan621070
Cayuga591590
Jefferson548765
Wayne530467
Cattaraugus521382
Genesee5102121
Herkimer4946107
Clinton458233
Madison432186
Fulton412288
Tompkins407749
Livingston403858
Montgomery3923117
Columbia3848100
Cortland356960
Tioga345058
Warren341856
Wyoming328251
Otsego322147
Allegany320483
Greene315674
Chenango313874
Washington287955
Orleans280183
Lewis248134
Franklin241312
Delaware219537
Seneca188956
Schoharie156816
Essex150826
Yates111226
Schuyler99314
Hamilton3012
Unassigned13864
Out of NY0218
Rome
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Binghamton
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 19°
Rome
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Rome
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 25°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Enter the Rock Your Body Giveaway from Alivana Aesthetics
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!