Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment. His latest confession is disturbing.
According to The Daily Mail, Sen. Franken issued a statement Thursday regarding his inappropriate behavior. He admitted to many of the allegations, saying he “crossed a line” with some women during “greetings and embraces for a hug or photo.”
A number of women, some anonymous, have all come forward claiming that Sen. Franken was sexually harassing them. One woman, radio host Leeann Tweeden, has backed up her claims with a photo of Mr. Franken groping her breasts while she slept.
Many women are reporting that Mr. Franken touched their buttocks during photo ops after he became a Senator.
Despite the fact Mr. Franken acknowledges he may have crossed a line, he shrugged it off saying he’s a nice guy: “I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs, often in crowded and chaotic situations. I’m a warm person; I hug people. Some women have found my greetings or embraces for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that.”
One woman who came forward to accuse Sen. Franken of groping her during a photo op was Lindsay Menz. She claims that Mr. Franken grabbed her rear at the Minnesota State Fair while her husband took the photo.
An anonymous woman claims she had been groped during a Democrat fundraiser at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis in 2008. Describing the event, she said: “I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and held it there. Then he moved it lower and cupped my butt. I was completely mortified.”
She also claimed that Mr. Franken propositioned her for sex by suggesting they go to the bathroom together.
She said it was upsetting that a politician with such a high profile and moral responsibilities would be so inappropriate: “My immediate reaction was disgust, but my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’”
Sen. Franken strongly denies this event ever happened, saying he “can categorically say that I did not proposition anyone to join me in the bathroom.”
Mrs. Tweeden’s accusation is perhaps the most credible given the photo clearly showing Mr. Franken groping her. The sexual misconduct occurred during a 2006 USO tour where Mrs. Tweeden said Mr. Franken forcibly kissed her before performing a comedy routine for the troops in the Middle East.
The infamous photograph occurred on the return flight home which shows Mr. Franken cupping Ms. Tweeden’s breasts while she slept during the flight. Writing about her reaction when she later saw the photo, she said, “I felt disgusted and violated.”
Senator Al Franken has been caught, red-handed, sexually assaulting women. Do you believe that justice will find Mr. Franken for his misdeeds?
Mr. Franken has been teetering on the fence between admitting wrongdoing and portraying the accusations in such a way that suggests they were harmless acts that were simply misinterpreted. In a carefully worded response, he said, “I feel terribly that I’ve made some women feel badly and for that I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again.”
Yet his admission that he’s “crossed a line” suggests that he’s at least aware that some of his actions can be defined as sexual harassment, especially the photograph, which can not be interpreted as anything else.