Amid reports of widespread sexual harassment in Congress, U.S. Senator Al Franken, D-Minn., is now being accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent.
Leeann Tweeden, the morning anchor for KABC radio, says she was working with Franken on a USO tour to entertain our troops in December 2006. Franken was the headlining comedian on the tour and was writing skits that “were full of sexual innuendo;” he insisted that Tweeden be a part of one of the skits.
“When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’,” Tweeden recounts. “I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.”
Before the show began, Tweeden says Franken insisted on a rehearsal. That’s when, she says, he forced her to kiss him.
On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’
He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.
He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. 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.
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 says Franken made her feel “disgusted and violated.” She actively avoided being alone with him for the rest of the tour.
“Franken repaid me with petty insults, including drawing devil horns on at least one of the headshots I was autographing for the troops,” Tweeden says.
Returning to the U.S. from Afghanistan on a C-17 cargo plane, an exhausted Tweeden fell asleep in her vest and Kevlar helmet.
A photo was taken of Al Franken grabbing her breasts while she slept.
— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) November 16, 2017
“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” Tweeden said. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.”
In a statement, Franken said he does not remember the rehearsal the way Tweeden does, and he claimed the picture was a bad joke.
In a written statement, Sen Al Franken D-MN responds: pic.twitter.com/5yFq0Qv9WF
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) November 16, 2017
That picture is not funny. It’s damning. It’s hard evidence that her other accusations are credible.
And it shows how Franken is a blatant hypocrite on sexual harassment.
— Banned from the Gadsden Mall (@HashtagGriswold) November 16, 2017
Now many are calling for Al Franken to step down or be expelled from the United States Senate.
I assume McConnell will start expulsion proceedings against Franken https://t.co/jQyObiJAT2
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) November 16, 2017
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) November 16, 2017
Is she … asleep in that picture? Is there a reason he’s spending one more second in the United States Senate? https://t.co/PdvSkN8o0T
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) November 16, 2017
Given the seriousness of the allegations, it is clear Franken should resignhttps://t.co/sKTNVhB6IC
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) November 16, 2017
If @alfranken doesn’t resign today, or if the Senate does not move to expel him today, then the Senate has no integrity to talk about. #ImWithLeeann https://t.co/7p8oJ8G0jx @LeeannTweeden @93wibc @KABCRadio
— Tony Katz (@tonykatz) November 16, 2017
Will the Senate now demand Al Franken resign due to documented and verifiable evidence of sexual misconduct?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 16, 2017
What happens if Franken does resign?
If Al Franken were to resign—and Tweeden’s accusations seem highly credible— Minnesota Gov. Dayton (D) would appoint an interim replacement.
Then there’d be a special election as part of next’s November midterms to fill out the remainder of Franken’s term, which ends in 2020.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 16, 2017
How many Democrats and liberal media types will call for his removal?
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Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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