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Published August 06, 2010, 10:27 AM

Franken apologizes for irritating GOP leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Al Franken apologized Thursday for being rude to Sen. Mitch McConnell as the Senate's top Republican was winding up a solemn debate on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Al Franken apologized Thursday for being rude to Sen. Mitch McConnell as the Senate's top Republican was winding up a solemn debate on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Franken, a liberal Democrat from Minnesota, was presiding over the Senate as McConnell explained his opposition to President Barack Obama's high-court nominee.

A Senate GOP aide said Franken made theatrical gestures and whispered under his breath as the Kentucky senator spoke. It was distracting enough that McConnell went up to the former comedian afterward and said, "This isn't 'Saturday Night Live,' Al."

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Franken later went to McConnell's office to try to apologize in person but McConnell wasn't there. He delivered a handwritten apology and issued a statement that said McConnell was "entitled to give his speech with the presiding officer just listening respectfully."

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