Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., fired back at left-wing billionaire George Soros Wednesday after he criticized her for leading the barrage of condemnation that forced Sen. Al Franken, a fellow Dem, to resign last year over groping allegations.
Soros criticized Gillibrand in a June interview with The Washington Post, saying that she was the only Democrat he would not like to see succeed in a potential run for president in 2020.
The Hungary-born philanthropist and political activist accused Gillibrand of pushing Franken, "whom I admire," out of the Senate "in order to improve her chances" of getting the Democratic nomination.
"If standing up for women who have been wronged makes George Soros mad, that’s on him," Gillibrand said in a statement to HuffPo. "But I won’t hesitate to always do what I think is right."
"It is clear that we must put our morals and the valuing of women ahead of party loyalty," Gillibrand added. "When someone does something wrong, you have to speak up and be counted, whether it’s President Trump, or a Democratic colleague."
Former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and writer, announced his resignation from the Senate in December after at least eight women accused him of groping them and trying to force kisses. Gillibrand was one of 10 female Democratic senators who called on Franken to go, saying "enough is enough."
In his resignation speech, Franken said that some of the complaints against him were "simply not true," while he remembered other alleged encounters "differently." He also noted that Trump was facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault during his campaign in 2016.
In January, Gillibrand was confronted by "View" co-host Joy Behar about her role in Franken's Senate exit.
"Why did you push Franken out?” Behar asked. "How about a hearing first?"
"He's entitled to a hearing," Gillibrand answered. "But he's not entitled to my silence, Joy."
"It's not OK to grab women without their consent," Gillibrand added. "So why would you want to hold our elected leaders to the lower standard and not the highest standard? We should be holding all our elected leaders to the highest standard. I can't be a good mother, and I can't be a good senator if I’m silenced just because he’s my friend."
Earlier this week, Franken told a Minneapolis TV station that he had not ruled out seeking office again.
Fox News' Ben Florance and Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.