Democrats Denounce Sen. Al Franken Amid Groping Scandal

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Thu, Nov 16 - 7:14 pm EST | 1 month ago by
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    Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is at the center of a firestorm of controversy after a Los Angeles media personality accused the former “Saturday Night Live” star of forcibly kissing her and groping her as she slept during a USO Tour in December 2006.

    KABC Radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden published the account of her alleged harassment on her station’s website, revealing the sordid details of her encounter with Franken.

    “[H]e came at me, put has hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth,” she recalled. “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 also provided photographic evidence of the groping incident, which shows a smiling Franken cupping his hands around her breasts as she slept.

    After initially offering a pseudo-apology that ruffled even more feathers, Franken issued a more substantive mea culpa calling for an ethics investigation into his actions and reinforcing his status as a champion of women.

    “I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter,” he said. “There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture.”

    Fellow Democratic lawmakers have echoed Franken’s call for an ethics investigation:

    Notably, no Democrats have yet called for Franken to resign in the wake of the scandal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even opted for an ethics investigation over a direct call for Franken to resign.

    “As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter,” McConnell said in a statement that did not include Franken’s name.

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