Roy Moore seizes on Al Franken groping allegations

Roy Moore seizes on Al Franken groping allegations

Whatever happens to Franken, between the left's reawakening to the allegations against Bill Clinton and the certainty that more big-name Democrats will be accused of sexual misconduct before 2020, it's a cinch that a woman will be on the party's next presidential ticket.

Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles radio news anchor, said Thursday that Franken forcibly kissed her during a skit rehearsal while both were on a 2006 USO tour.

In a statement to Bustle, Franken says he does not remember the incident and that the photo was meant to be amusing. Franken is shown grinning and staring at the camera while reaching out as if to grope Tweeden's breasts as she sleeps.

Franken said he intended for the photo to be amusing, but it wasn't.

Tweeden said that after the incident, she avoided being alone with Franken for the rest of the USO tour but that he tried to "belittle" her. She says Franken was the headliner on a roster of entertainers that included musicians Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, and some members of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

In an essay published on KABC, the network where Tweeden's show airs, she writes that during the tour, Franken asked her to join a skit he'd written which involved a kiss.

Several of Franken's fellow Senate Democrats have also come down on the side of investigating Franken.

Sen. Ron Wyden
Sen. Ron Wyden

"I had locked up those memories of helplessness and violation for a long time, but they all came rushing back to me and my hands clinched into fists like it was yesterday", Tweeden said. "And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed", he said in the statement.

"I felt violated all over again". "The ethics investigation, if that's what [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell wants to do, that's on them".

Warren said Thursday that she was glad Franken acknowledged his behavior was inappropriate and that he had agreed to a Senate ethics investigation. "The tour wrapped and on Christmas Eve we began the 36-hour trip home to L.A. After 2 weeks of grueling travel and performing I was exhausted".

"The allegations are serious, we need to take them seriously and I support an ethics investigation". "It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate", he said.

Tweeden said she's coming forward now after hearing testimony from women - including California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier - who have shared similar stories of men in power who have committed sexual harassment and sexual assault.

"He walked up to me, found me in a room, and said hello to me and I was very cold to him", she said.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the highest-ranking woman in the Democratic Senate leadership said Franken's apology "doesn't reverse what he's done or end the matter". He called for an ethics investigation into himself, saying he will "gladly cooperate". "Or, 'That's why you never see Lesley until February.' Or, 'When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her'". Franken are serious. Harassment in any setting is clearly unacceptable.

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