Al Franken apologizes after radio host accuses him of kissing, groping her

17 November, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Greg Santos
  • US senator Al Franken apologises after accusation of groping

Franken becomes the latest figure swept up in sexual harassment allegations that have mushroomed since Hollywood figure Harvey Weinstein was hit with multiple allegations.

Like something right out of the 1990s, when the news media did everything it could to undermine then-President Bill Clinton's female accusers, Kasie Hunt, the Capitol Hill correspondent for NBC News, claimed that what Democrat Senator Al Franken did to journalist Leeann Tweed is "not actually groping".

A TV host and former Playboy playmate says Sen.

Leeann Tweeden detailed her accusations in a story for KABC, a Los Angeles radio station where she works as a news anchor, Thursday morning. She also provided photographic evidence of the comedian-turned-senator appearing to grope her while she was asleep.

Franken first issued an apology to Tweeden, in which he said that the photo "was clearly meant to be amusing but wasn't".

Heitkamp says society has been "far too tolerant and dismissive" of sexual harassment allegations, and that cases that are now coming to light are "a sea change that is very important".

Tweeden said she was inspired to tell her story by women members of Congress who spoke up against harassment this week.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said Thursday that the Senate Ethics Committee should investigate Sen. Franken also called for an ethics investigation. Tweeden resisted, but eventually said "ok" to get Franken to stop his insisting.

By Maria L. Taylor  Wikipedia Commons Comedian Al Franken performs for military members at Ramstein Air Base Germany in 2000
By Maria L. Taylor Wikipedia Commons Comedian Al Franken performs for military members at Ramstein Air Base Germany in 2000

"I felt belittled. I was ashamed". "But even as angry as I was, I was anxious about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster", Tweeden writes. Al Franken forced her to kiss him several years ago when they were both in Afghanistan.

"I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann", said Franken. "As I recall, that was fine for our grandmothers".

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer agreed the Ethics Committee should investigate.

Speaking on CNN's "The Lead" with Jake Tapper on Thursday, Tweeden said that the incident, which occurred in 2006, before Franken was a senator, left her "so angry, I was in disbelief".

And now, a video has surfaced of Franken and Tweeden on stage together.

Coming from the world of comedy, I've told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were amusing but later came to realize were just plain offensive.

"People make mistakes. I'm not calling for him to step down".

"I respect women I don't respect men who don't. I said something like, 'Relax, Al, this isn't [Saturday Night Live].we don't need to rehearse the kiss'".

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