Al Franken, D-Minn., offered his "sincerest apologies" to a woman who accused him of kissing and groping her without permission in 2006, and called for an ethics investigation into his actions. She alleged that Franken aggressively kissed her, sticking his tongue in her mouth during a rehearsal for a comedy skit.
Tweeden also included a photo of her sleeping on board an aircraft later during the trip, in which Franken is shown reaching out as if to grope her breasts. "As to the photo, it was clearly meant to be amusing but wasn't".
Los Angeles broadcaster Leeann Tweeden said Thursday afternoon she hoped her explosive allegations against Sen.
Franken has apologized and and said that his recollection of the incident differs from the one presented by Tweeden.
Leeann Tweeden detailed her accusations in a story for KABC, a Los Angeles radio station where she works as a news anchor, Thursday morning. Additionally, there is an incriminating photo that shows the senator groping her as she lay asleep.
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The news comes as Franken is promoting a new book and seeing his star power rise as Democrats have begun to consider him as a possible challenger to President Trump in 2020. "I'm not demanding any of that", Tweeden said. "I felt disgusted and violated" and "wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone", she continues.
McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the claims against Franken. They performed the skit that night and several more times on tour, and she always turned her face away from Franken as she'd planned. "I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter".
Franken said he doesn't remember the kiss - part of a rehearsal for the USO show - as Tweeden does but he understands "why we need to listen to and believe women's experience". "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". It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate. "I would have been long dead by now", she told reporters at the press conference.
Tweeden said she's coming forward now after hearing testimony from women - including California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier - who have shared similar stories of men in power who have committed sexual harassment and sexual assault. Franken also called for an ethics investigation. He insisted that they kiss, Tweedan said, even when she said she didn't want to. So what exactly has Franken said about this?
"People make mistakes. I'm not calling for him to step down. Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable - in the workplace or anywhere else".