November 16, 2018

Another Woman Accuses Al Franken of Groping

FILE PHOTO: Senator Al Franken (D-MN) listens during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is facing another groping accusation, as a woman is claiming that he grabbed her buttocks in 2010.

The woman, 33-year-old Lindsay Menz, told CNN that she and her husband, Jeremy, approached Franken at the Minnesota State Fair to help promote a local radio booth that Menz’s dad’s business was sponsoring. When Jeremy took a picture of his wife with Franken, Menz alleges that Franken “put his hand full-fledged on my rear.”

“It wasn’t around my waist,” said Menz. “It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt.”

Menz said she “felt gross” afterward.

“It’d be like being walking through the mall and some random person grabbing your butt,” said Menz. “You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me.”

Jeremy said he couldn’t see what Franken did to his wife behind her, but he did see that Franken “pulled her in and pushed his head against her head.” By the time his wife told him about what Franken did, the senator was already gone.

On Thursday, Franken was accused by radio host Leeann Tweeden of groping her while she was sleeping – which she supplied photo evidence of – as well as forcibly kissing her and sticking his tongue down her throat. Menz said that while her Franken incident wasn’t as bad as Tweeden’s, she felt like she needed to speak out.

“If someone sees that I said something, maybe it would give them the courage to say something too,” said Menz.

Franken said in a statement to CNN that he had no recollection of the photo he took with Menz.

“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” said Franken. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

CNN contributor Sally Kohn tweeted on Monday that it was time for Franken to leave from his position as senator.

On Sunday, a staffer to Franken told the Star Tribune that the senator had zero intention of stepping down.

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

U.S. Senator Al Franken buries his head in his hands after an exchange with Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch as he testifies before a Senate Judiciary Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee hearing on how Russia allegedly used their services to try to sway the 2016 U.S. elections, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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.