It appears that there is a serious issue of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and political circles. When former-President Bill Clinton was asked about one of the most recent news reports of sexual assault, his reaction was disturbing.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), is one of the latest men to be accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. According to The Washington Times, a reporter had the chance to ask former-President Bill Clinton his opinion of Franken’s behavior. Allegedly, the former-President gave a “half-smirk” and didn’t comment on the issue.
It started when NBC News reporter Tammy Leitner went to Puerto Rico to report on the hurricane damage the US territory sustained. While she was there, she ran into the 42nd president, Mr. Clinton, who was there for recovery efforts.
The NBC reporter had enough time to ask one question, and she chose to ask about the accusations against Sen. Franken by broadcaster Leeann Tweeden. Leitner discussed what happened during an interview.
“[Bill Clinton] has been back in the news with the Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, suggesting he would have had to resign in the current climate and, of course, Democrats facing questions about Senator Al Franken’s conduct,” the host, Kasie Hunt asked. “Any chance you talked to him about that?”
“I did, Kasie. I asked him about the Senator’s recent comments, and he looked at me, kind of half-smirked, and kept going. He wanted nothing to do with that, so he didn’t give us an answer,” Leitner answered.
Sen. Franken stands accused of kissing Tweeden during a rehearsal for a 2006 USO Tour. He scripted a scene where the two kissed and insisted that they practice it together.
Tweeden said that she finally gave in after repeated pressure from Mr. Franken, intending to comically reject the kiss as she would during the routine. During the rehearsal of the scene, Tweeden said Franken forced himself on her and tried to kiss her while she resisted.
On their way home to the US, a picture was captured of Franken smiling while groping Tweeden’s breasts as she slept on the flight.
A second accusation that took place in 2010 was alleged from a woman named Lindsay Menz. Menz claimed that Mr. Franken grabbed her bottom during a photo taken at the Minnesota State Fair.
The double-standard regarding inappropriate behavior by elected officials is on full display with Democrats. Are you outraged by Bill Clinton’s response to Sen. Franken’s sexual misconduct?
Sen. Franken has not said much about the accusations. He tends to repeat the claim that he doesn’t remember it being that way and apologizes if the women felt disrespected. This is not enough for many, regardless of whether they are a Democrat or a Republican. The general consensus is that Sen. Franken needs to step down from his position. He has yet to comment on whether he will resign from his position.
The case seems pretty cut and dry: Sen. Franken acted inappropriately using unwanted physical contact. It is alarming that the former President only smirked when asked about these serious accusations. If Mr. Clinton wants people to continue to take him seriously he should consider speaking out against this disgusting behavior, but he isn’t likely to comment further.