UNDER-FIRE United States senator Al Franken has said he does not remember whether he touched women inappropriately while having his picture taken with them at campaign events.

The Minnesota Democrat’s comments are the latest indication that he has no plans to step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

One woman claims he forcibly kissed her on a visit to entertain US troops in Afghanistan and took a sexually suggestive photo while she was sleeping.

Three others allege he grabbed their buttocks while posing with them for photos during separate campaign events in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

“I take thousands and thousands of pictures, sometimes in chaotic and crowded situations,” Franken said in an interview. “I can’t say I haven’t done that. I’m very sorry if these women experienced that.”

He added that he has to be “a lot more sensitive, and a lot more careful” when he poses for pictures and when he meets someone: “I’m going to make sure that this does not happen again.”

His interviews with Minnesota media outlets over the weekend were his first since he was swept into a nationwide tide of sexual misconduct allegations.

Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused of initiating sexual conduct with teenagers during the 1970s, and Michigan Representative John Conyers is giving up his leadership position as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee amid a congressional probe into claims of sexual harassment. Both men deny the allegations.

Franken told a newspaper that he does not remember the specific photos, but said such groping is “not something I would intentionally do”.

Asked whether he expected other women to step forward with similar allegations, he said: “If you had asked me two weeks ago, ‘Would any woman say I had treated her with disrespect?’, I would have said no. So this has just caught me by surprise ... I certainly hope not.”

He faces a Senate ethics investigation, although it is unclear when that may begin.

Franken, who has not faced widespread calls to resign, said he will fully co-operate.