nsucurrent.com February 18, 2018

Franken's Past Sexual Humor Has Been Scrutinized Before

17 November 2017, 01:11 | Lowell Little

Rep. Speier 2 Current Members of Congress Have Sexually Harassed

Rep. Speier 2 Current Members of Congress Have Sexually Harassed

"To say I was sorry for writing a joke was to sell out my career, to sell out who I'd been my entire life", Franken said.

In an interesting wrinkle, Franken wrote in his most recent book that it was during the 2006 USO tour - the same tour on which Tweeden says he assaulted her - that he made a decision to run for the Minnesota senate seat. Al Franken of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour and of posing for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept.

In a first-person account at KABC, Tweeden says she was groped in December 2006 when she and the Democratic senator from Minnesota, then a comedian, were on a plane ride home from the Middle East, where they'd entertained troops as part of a USO tour.

"Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them", Tweeden wrote in a piece for radio station KABC, adding "when I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a "kiss"".

Also, someone took a photo of Franken groping her while she slept, which she didn't see until after the conclusion of the USO tour.

McCaskill seems to be referencing Franken's initial statement on the sexual misconduct allegations in which he claimed the picture of him appearing to grope Tweeden "was clearly meant to be amusing". It is not clear from the photo whether Franken touched her, but Tweeden said he had.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Ethics Committee should review complaints against Democratic Sen.

Rep. Jackie Speier Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted as Congressional Aide
Rep. Jackie Speier Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted as Congressional Aide

"While I don't remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women's experiences".

She said she immediately recoiled and expressed her discomfort to Franken.

In another incident, she said Franken groped her chest through a flak vest she was wearing while traveling from Afghanistan to Los Angeles. There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself.

Franken is a longtime comedian and "Saturday Night Live" writer who won a Minnesota seat in the U.S. Senate after a lengthy recount in 2009. I strongly condemn this behavior and the Senate Ethics Committee must open an investigation. It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate. I am glad Senator Franken has acknowledged as much and has agreed to cooperate with an ethics investigation.

Tweeden said she was inspired to tell her story by women members of Congress who spoke up against harassment this week.

"I said "OK" so he would stop badgering me". And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. "Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable - in the workplace or anywhere else", McConnell said in a statement.

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