Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), has joined the list of those accused of sexual harassment and there’s a photo giving the allegation serious credibility.
According to The Star Tribune, Sen. Franken, in spite of the accusations or the photo pointing to his inappropriate behavior, and responding to questions of whether he would resign, stated, “No.” The spokesperson continued: “He is spending time with his family in Washington, DC and will be through the Thanksgiving holiday, and he’s doing a lot of reflecting.”
The accusation was first made in an article written by Leeann Tweeden for KABC News. In it, she claimed Sen. Franken harassed and groped her during a USO tour in 2006. At the time Mr. Franken was a comedian and it was Mrs. Tweeden’s ninth tour to entertain the troops serving in the Middle East.
She stated that many USO tours are tailored for a young male audience which means they typically include skits full of sexual innuendos and other risqué acts. Mr. Franken had apparently written a skit for him and Mrs. Tweeden to perform that included a kiss. Tweeden agreed, thinking she could avoid the kiss and cause a few laughs.
Backstage, Mr. Franken apparently insisted on “rehearsing” the kiss, despite multiple rejections he continued to be insistent. Mrs. Tweeden reluctantly consented, intending to avoid the kiss by turning her head like she would in the performance.
Instead, Mr. Franken allegedly grabbed her head and forced his tongue into her mouth. Disgusted, she fought him off and avoided him for the rest of the USO tour apart from their performances. At the time she was afraid of causing a scene and refrained from telling anyone.
During the 36-hour trip back to Los Angeles, after 2 weeks of performing for the troops and travel, Mrs. Tweeden says she fell asleep in the C-17 cargo plane taking them home while wearing a flak vest and Kevlar helmet.
Back State-side, she saw a picture of what happened while she was asleep that disturbed her. It was Mr. Franken posing for the picture with his hands over her breasts and a smile on his face, all while she was asleep and unaware that she was being groped.
Mrs. Tweeden says she had buried the memories and the emotions for over 10 years, worried about the repercussions and backlash if she came forward, especially after Mr. Franken later became a Senator.
Now, following the numerous other stories of harassment, she has found the courage to come forward and tell her story. She says she’s not doing it because of how long it’s been, the fact that she’s more confident and secure now, or that she’s still angry about the abuse.
In her words, she’s telling the story now, “because there may be others.”
While the perpetrators of other sexual harassment incidents may be able to shrug it off when there’s no evidence, Mr. Franken can’t deny a photo showing him groping a sleeping woman.
According to Sen. Al Franken’s spokesman, Franken has no intention of resigning, despite allegations of sexual misconduct. Should Franken resign?
What’s equally as disturbing as Sen. Franken’s sexually deviant behavior is that he has no intention of resigning from office. Even worse, some liberals and Democrats have defended Mr. Franken, saying that while the accusations and the photo are disturbing, he was not a Senator at the time but just a comedian. Somehow they suggest that he shouldn’t be held as accountable for his vile actions because he was a comedian.
Mr. Franken should be held accountable for his actions. His legitimacy to serve as an elected representative for the American people should at the very least be questioned, if not by him, then by his constituents.