Brian Thomas reports that after a woman came forward to say that Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota sexually assaulted her, Franken is calling for an ethics investigation on his own behavior, saying he will “gladly cooperate.”
Leeann Tweeden, a morning news anchor for TalkRadio 790 KABC in Los Angeles came forward to accuse the Senator of groping her while she slept on a military plane. She also says Franken forcefully kissed her while the two were on a USO Tour oversees in 2006.
“My father served in Vietnam,” Tweeden wrote on Kabc.com.”and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.”
Franken sexually harassed her multiple times during the tour.
Tweeden included a photo of Franken groping her while she slept, a picture Franken would later describe as “clearly intended to be funny.”
HGis initial apology claimed he shouldn’t have touched her while she slept, but he only meant it as a joke. Furthermore, he insisted he doesn’t remember the forceful kiss “in the same way.”
“How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?” Tweden wrote when she came forward about what he had done.
Franken’s weak “apology” only led to further, much deserved, criticism.
Now, Franken says he welcomes further investigation, while insisting that he respects women in a revamped apology attempt.
The Hill reports:
The second statement came after Franken faced criticism from across the political spectrum that his first statement did not represent a real apology.
“The first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry,” he wrote in the new statement.
“I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t,” Franken continued. “And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”
Franken doubled down on his claim that he does not remember the rehearsal for the skit “in the same way” as Tweeden.
But he said Tweeden “deserved to be heard.”
“The truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories,” Franken said. “They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”
Franken has come under intense criticism from his own colleagues, many of whom also called for an ethics investigation.
It should be obvious to Minnesota’s Democratic Senator that “what people think” of him is less important than his victim’s human dignity. Franken points this out as if the rest of us didn’t already know that.
Whatever the “ethics investigation” comes up with, after he has even more time to come up with prepared responses, will reveal far less about his character than his initial response. His wormy excuses and lack of sincerity said it all.
I wonder who will be the next one to be the subject of sexual harassment allegations. With all of the stories now popping up, it’s getting hard to keep track.