Franken apologizes after woman says he kissed, groped her


WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken faced a storm of criticism and a likely ethics investigation after a Los Angeles radio anchor accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour. He was the first member of Congress caught up in the recent wave of allegations of sexual abuse and inappropriate behavior.

Franken apologized Thursday, but there were no signs the issue would go away any time soon. Fellow Democrats swiftly condemned his actions, mindful of the current climate as well as the prospect of political blowback.

Republicans, still forced to answer for the multiple allegations facing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, joined in pressing for an investigation. Franken said he would welcome it.

Franken, meanwhile, abruptly canceled a sold-out book festival appearance scheduled for Monday in Atlanta, festival organizers said. He had been scheduled to speak and promote his book, “Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.”

Leeann Tweeden posted her allegations, including a photo of Franken and her, on the website of KABC, where she works as a news anchor for a morning radio show.

The photo shows Franken posing in a joking manner, smiling at the camera with his hands on her chest as she naps wearing a flak vest aboard a military plane. Both had been performing for military personnel in Afghanistan two years before the one-time “Saturday Night Live” comedian was elected to the Senate.

Tweeden said Thursday that before an earlier show Franken had persisted in rehearsing a kiss and “aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.” Now, she said, “every time I hear his voice or see his face, I am angry.” She’s angry with herself, too, she said, for not speaking out at the time “but I didn’t want to rock the boat.”

On Friday, Tweeden said she didn’t come forward with the hope that …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

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