Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recommended a probe into the sexual harassment allegations against Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken less than an hour after a news anchor publicized her accusations.
“As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter,” McConnell said. “I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this. Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable—in the workplace or anywhere else.”
News anchor and former model Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcefully kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour to entertain troops in the Middle East in an article posted to Los Angeles radio station KABC Thursday.
“You knew exactly what you were doing. You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later, and be ashamed,” Tweeden wrote.
The kiss allegedly occurred during rehearsals for a sketch Franken wrote, and happened backstage with no witnesses. Later, Franken posed for a photograph in which he appeared to touch Tweeden’s chest while she slept.
Franken apologized for the alleged kiss and grope shortly after the allegations were posted. “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it,” Franken said.
The allegations against Franken follow a series of accusations against Republican Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore of Alabama, whom McConnell has also criticized.
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