Senator Franken backs ethics investigation after woman accuses him of groping her

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., apologized to a radio anchor and model after she released a photo that appeared to show him grabbing her chest and looking toward the camera on a flight back from Afghanistan.

Leeann Tweeden wrote in a blog post Thursday that Franken “mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth” during a rehearsal for a skit the pair were performing for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2006. Tweeden told Franken she didn’t want to rehearse the kiss, but he insisted, Tweeden wrote.

“I felt disgusted and violated,” she said.

Later, on their flight home, Franken posed for a photo of himself with his hands over Tweeden’s chest as she slept. Tweeden posted the photo on the website of KABC Radio in Los Angeles, where she now works.

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” Franken said in a short statement Thursday morning. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

Shortly after Franken’s apology, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement he would ask the Senate Ethics Committee to look into the allegations, and several of Franken’s Democratic colleagues, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., told reporters they believed there should be an investigation. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., called Franken’s behavior “unacceptable.” Read More

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