April 19, 2019

Sen. Al Franken Accused of Kissing, Groping Woman Without Consent

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is the latest public figure to face accusations of sexual misconduct, as a woman is now accusing Franken of kissing and groping her without her consent.

Leeann Tweeden, a radio host at KABC 790, wrote that in 2006, she was on a United Services Organization (USO) tour and Franken was the main act. Backstage, Franken repeatedly insisted that he and Tweeden needed to rehearse part of the act that involved them kissing. Tweeden resisted, but eventually said “ok” to get Franken to stop his insisting.

“We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth,” wrote Tweeden. “I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.”

Tweeden went on to say that she “felt disgusted and violated.”

When the tour had ended, Tweeden discovered a photo of Franken groping her while she was sleeping:

Tweeden was furious, but she was initially afraid to speak out and jeopardize her broadcasting aspirations. That fear is now gone.

“Senator Franken, you wrote the script,” wrote Tweeden. “But there’s nothing funny about sexual assault.”

Franken issued a statement offering his “sincerest apologies” to Tweeden.

“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 to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is now advocating for an ethics investigation into Franken.

“Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable—in the workplace or anywhere else,” said McConnell.