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Accuser's confidante: Trent Franks offered $5M for surrogacy

Accuser's confidante: Trent Franks offered $5M for surrogacy

A former aide to Republican Rep. Trent Franks has told The Associated Press the congressman repeatedly pressed her to carry his child, at one point offering her $5 million to act as a surrogate mother.

He also said that the current political climate of many women coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment led him to want to avoid an Ethics Committee investigation.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he asked Franks to resign after learning about "troubling behavior" and "misconduct" against two former Franks staffers.

Franks' expected resignation was initially reported by Roll Call.

Franks says in a statement that he never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have any sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff.

Franks, 60, said he had become familiar with the surrogacy process in recent years and "became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others".

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Franks has served in the House since 2003 and is known as a fierce opponent of legal abortion, recently sponsoring a bill banning abortions after 20-week gestation that passed the House.

The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Franks earlier in the day.

His resignation, which Franks said will take effect January 31, will end the ethics investigation.

"The speaker takes seriously his obligation to ensure a safe workplace in the House", the statement said. It was not immediately clear why Mr. Franks was resigning. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced earlier Thursday he intends to step down soon after multiple women claimed Franken tried to kiss them or inappropriately touch them.

Upon leaving the House floor on Thursday, Trent was consoled by fellow Republican members, including Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., and Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.

"We're trying to get that done before the holidays, over the next few weeks", Alderman said. He sought to clarify the comment, saying later-term abortions linked to pregnancies caused by rape are infrequent.

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