Senator Al Franken meets with constituents at Minnesota Farmfest in Redwood County, Minnesota, US, August 6, 2014.
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 chose to run for the Minnesota senate seat. The caption with one of the photos, from the U.S. Army, reads, "Al Franken and Leann Tweeden entertain the Soldiers with a skit at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq Dec 16. I'm not demanding any of that", Tweeden said.
Leeann Tweeden, a prominent model and morning news anchor on TalkRadio 790 KABC in Los Angeles and well-known model, is accusing Minnesota Senator Al Franken of groping and kissing her without her consent in an online essay.
Tweeden is now a broadcaster for KABC radio in Los Angeles and anchors the McIntyre in the Morning show. Franken is shown grinning and staring at the camera while reaching out as if to grope Tweeden's breasts as she sleeps. She says Franken was the headliner on a roster of entertainers that included musicians Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, and some members of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.
"I found myself extremely attracted to the vulnerable side of this sexy scientist, and when I offered to comfort her, she accepted, kissing me full on the lips and inserting her tongue into my mouth and moving it around suggestively", Franken wrote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., immediately called on the Senate Ethics Committee to review the allegations against Franken, who issued a brief statement of apology. I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter.
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Franken apologized for the incident, saying "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann".
"This is happening to women who have no power and no way to speak up", she said at a press conference.
The announcer claimed to have gotten out of the arms of the comedian feeling "disgusted and violated" and not having denounced him to avoid "causing problems", but made sure not to have contact or be alone with him for the rest of the trip. He also says he shouldn't have posed for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept. It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate. Martin said the party supports an ethics investigation.
"I understand why we need to listen to and believe women's experiences", he said.
"People make mistakes. I'm not calling for him to step down". Franken is shown standing over her, appearing to be groping her chest.
"I respect women I don't respect men who don't".