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News Anchor accuses Al Franken of non-consensual kissing, groping in 2006

News Anchor accuses Al Franken of non-consensual kissing, groping in 2006

Do Democrat Senators get one free grope, or will Senate move to expel Franken as is talked about with Roy Moore?

Leeann Tweeden, now a local radio news anchor in Los Angeles, has authored an article accusing Senator Al Franken of non-consensual sexual contact in 2006, during a USO tour in the Middle East. This contrasts with the accusations against candidate Roy Moore, which involve alleged conduct several decades ago.

Since there have been calls to “expel” Moore should he win, will there be calls to expel Franken for conduct which took place not long before his election to the Senate in 2008.

The article is at the Talk Radio 790 KABC website. Here’s an excerpt, Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It:

In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks…. The headliner was comedian and now-senator, Al Franken….

On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’

He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.

He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.

I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.

I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.

I felt disgusted and violated.

Not long after, I performed the skit as written, carefully turning my head so he couldn’t kiss me on the lips.

No one saw what happened backstage. I didn’t tell the Sergeant Major of the Army, who was the sponsor of the tour. I didn’t tell our USO rep what happened.

At the time I didn’t want to cause trouble. We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our Holiday tour, I was a professional, and I could take care of myself. I told a few of the others on the tour what Franken had done and they knew how I felt about it.

I tried to let it go, but I was angry.

Tweeden then goes on to explain how only later did she find out that Franken groped her while she slept, when she saw the photo (above, featured image):

Other than our dialogue on stage, I never had a voluntary conversation with Al Franken again. I avoided him as much as possible and made sure I was never alone with him again for the rest of the tour.

Franken repaid me with petty insults, including drawing devil horns on at least one of the headshots I was autographing for the troops.

But he didn’t stop there.

The tour wrapped and on Christmas Eve we began the 36-hour trip home to L.A. After 2 weeks of grueling travel and performing I was exhausted. When our C-17 cargo plane took off from Afghanistan I immediately fell asleep, even though I was still wearing my flak vest and Kevlar helmet.

It wasn’t until I was back in the US and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw this one: [see photo above]

I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.

I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.

How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?

I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.

I wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone to anyone who would listen, but even as angry as I was, I was worried about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster.

But that was then, this is now. I’m no longer afraid.

If Al Franken engaged in this conduct, it doesn’t excuse the alleged behavior of Roy Moore several decades ago. But it does raise important political questions as to whether Democrats will be held to the same standard as Republicans.

Moore vehemently denies the allegations, and at least one piece of evidence, an alleged handwritten note by Moore in a yearbook, is disputed pending a forensic examination. In Franken’s case, there’s photo evidence.

Faced with that evidence, Franken has apologized:

How convenient for Franken to portray it as just a joke gone bad.

Should it make a difference that as of now there is only one accusation against Franken? Do Democrats get one free grope?

If the same standards are applied to Democrats and Republicans, then we should be talking about using the Senate’s constitutional power to expel Al Franken from the Senate.

BONUS QUESTION: Will the Franken situation salvage the Roy Moore candidacy?


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He should absolutely be expelled. There is photographic evidence. He needs to go but I’m not holding my breath.

Since I don’t watch the MSM can anybody update on whether the Franken story is being covered by anybody other than Fox (I assume they are covering it). Thanks.

Mere accusations are all too easy. For this one, the lady makes the accusation but backs it up with visual proof.

    Dr. Ransom in reply to pfg. | November 16, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Nonsense, the seriousness of the allegation is more important than any kind of proof!

    Matt_SE in reply to pfg. | November 16, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    I want a trial for Senator Al Franken.
    It upholds our principles (innocent until proven guilty), and will be a constant source of irritation for Dems while it’s going on. Resignation or expulsion will be too quick.

What a creep.

I think we have all run across guys like Franken in our lives. Believes he is the smartest guy in the room, can at times be funny but its all a big cover for extreme insecurity and hyper sensitivity.

She embarrassed him and even though no one else saw it he turned on her because he couldn’t handle the blow to his ego.

Good for Leeann for bringing this to light now.

I hope Franken goes but I doubt he will (and I hope Roy Moore never sets foot in the Senate… while the handwriting thing may prove to be fake there is enough evidence out there to conclude that his is a creep too).

    Smart? He did win his Celebrity Jeopardy section.

    inspectorudy in reply to Massinsanity. | November 16, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I’m not defending Moore but I think it would be nice if you told us what the “Evidence” that is out there is. Rags made the claim that there were a series of women claiming bad things about him but he was wrong. There are two and one is rapidly getting a suspicious smell about her and her yearbook. I don’t mind when people inflate things to make a point but you are talking about a man’s life and you need to have facts, not msm tidbits. So far we have the word of a three-time divorcee, a twice declared bankruptcy and an admitted drug addict telling her story as she were an angel. Is there no room for holding a hearing to try and get to the bottom of this? Do we take her word that is, in fact, true with no cross-examination? Put yourself in Moore’s position and see what it feels like to have no control or say in what is happening to him and his family. He may be guilty but what he is experiencing is not right.

**Since there have been calls to “expel” Moore should he win, will there be calls to expel Franken for conduct which took place not long before his election to the Senate in 2008.**

Yes! Absolutely! There SHOULD be.

Off to rehab w spaced-out & weiner-stein… He’ll be good to go… Boozed up & slurring back in the good ol boys club: Roman senate

Bucky Barkingham | November 16, 2017 at 12:18 pm

A big difference between Sen Franken and candidate Moore is that the GOPe hasn’t set it sights on Franken.

Reminder that during the time Roy Moore was allegedly signing yearbooks, Al Franken was busy smoking pot, snorting coke, and doing LSD.

OleDirtyBarrister | November 16, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Who would have guessed that if Al got caught exercising his Franken privileges, it would have been a woman he was groping?

OleDirtyBarrister | November 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm

DPRK News Service on twitter jumped on it early, and well. ROR!

buckeyeminuteman | November 16, 2017 at 12:26 pm

So now the self-described “Giant of the Giant” goes down in flames. I always thought he was a creep. At least that chick has photo proof.

As for Moore, still awaiting proof and sworn testimonies under oath with perjury hanging in the balance.

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | November 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    * “Giant of the Senate”

    Where’s your demand of “proof” and sworn testimony against Franken?

    As to proof against Moore, you have a series of very credible people going on record as saying he did what they say he did.

    Against that, you have Moore dissembling, lying outright, and (with his defenders) using the most vile of character assassination, ala Clinton.

      Matt_SE in reply to Ragspierre. | November 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Absolutely, Rags. Let’s give Senator Franken the public trial he deserves. “Innocent until proven guilty,” is what I always say!

      inspectorudy in reply to Ragspierre. | November 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      I am not going to try and defend Moore but these lies have to stop. There are only two women who have made any kind of damning statement about his actions. One is the 14-year-old and the other is the lady with the yearbook. All of the rest have said he acted like a gentleman except one who has claimed he pinched her on the a$$(impossible to prove). Alread made a big blunder today when she would not say whether or not the yearbook signature is a forgery or not. She keeps saying she wants a Senate panel to hear her client’s story and then she will release the yearbook for study. She knows the Senate has no jurisdiction over this matter because he is not a Senator. She knows this will prolong the truth until after the election. Of all his accusers this one is the most likely the one that is lying. Stop saying “All” of these women when there are only two. You are too smart to fall into the liberal tactic of using hyperbole.

    Massinsanity in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | November 16, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Did you miss the photo Rags?

The photo is the lead on Drudge, HuffPo, CNN and Fox News websites.

Slate is calling for his resignation.

    Semper Why in reply to Massinsanity. | November 16, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Good for them. Praise them when they do well, rip them when they produce garbage. I detest Slate any day of the week, but this the right thing to do.

You all should know where this is going . A new hysteria ,since the Russian thing crashed and burned , they will gin it up to hysterical proportions , with loads of comments by Rino’s , at which juncture , Old Gloria Alred will pull out a new bimbo accusing Trump .
I said this when they started piling on Bill and Old Weinstein
They have someone who , at the least , will be hard to refute.

    inspectorudy in reply to dmi60ex. | November 16, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    I’m waiting on the black caucus to come out and proactively say that any of their members who have done such things will not be judged except by God. That will get all of them off the hook. AND themsm will buy it!

I called my Senators & Rep today to complain about Congress paying, with taxpayers money, settlements to accusers on behalf of members of Congress and having no names being released.

I called one of the offices back because I had just read about the Franken incident. The aide quickly mentioned that it was the talk of the Hill and there were reporters and cameras all over their hallway.

It will be interesting to see how much press this gets from the MSM.

Humphrey's Executor | November 16, 2017 at 12:56 pm

I hope she is ready for the counter-attack from the DNC/Media smear network. Just watch how nasty this will be.

Besides the photo of Franken being “funny,” this woman says she told her husband and several of the other tour members about the forced kiss at the time. Contemporaneous statements lend credibility to a story for which there were no eyewitnesses. The same was true of Juanita Broaddrick’s story (she told some people at the time), and of Paula Jones.

“It was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t” pretty much sums up his career.

    In yesterday’s session interviewing Judge Willett, I think Franken mentioned that the bacon tweet was not funny, implying that judges shouldn’t try to do humor.

    Unfortunately, in looking at reports on this issue, I’ve seen that picture of Franken in a diaper. Now, that was not funny at all. I need eye-bleach.

    One point about the “kiss”, if I had had been forcefully pulled into a French-kiss, I am sure that my knee would have, reflexively and forcefully, located the jerk’s junk. More women need to learn that reaction.

1. This sort of material should be publicized. Women (and, for that matter, young men) considering going into fields where this behavior is endemic should be aware of it.

2. We can’t expect the situation to change. It certainly won’t change just because women can’t deal with it. If they want to be dog catchers, they should know that some of the dogs bite, and some of them are rabid. The dogs aren’t going to change, and the women have to realize that. If they can’t or won’t do the job, clear out and let the men do it, and they should stop claiming they can do any job a man can do, because they can’t. Or won’t—in practice, the same thing.

3. These are all political hit-pieces, and that by itself is scandalous. What the hell kind of country wallows in politics by scandal?

4. Victims who wait years to pipe up are not doing anyone any favors. And piping up now is what makes them accessories to these scurrilous political hits. This isn’t law and order, it isn’t manners, it isn’t decency, it isn’t even politics; it’s dirt. And the people—including the victims—who play in it on such a convenient schedule are just plain dirty.

Personally, I pay no attention to this rubbish when voting. None. If the allegations have substance, and if they rise to the level of crimes, we have an elephantine justice system to handle that. Since they have nothing at all to do with government policies, I don’t consider them when voting. How many waitresses Ted Kennedy and his buddies raped right out on the restaurant tables has nothing to do with why he was such a wretched Senator, though it does have something to do with why he was such a disappointment as a human being. But that’s not something up for vote.

So: Moore? As a voter, I don’t care; it’s not important, it’s not even relevant. Scrape up some evidence, charge as appropriate; otherwise relegate it to the footnotes in the history books.

Franken? Ditto. If Jehovah exists, he’d have vaporized Franken long ago with lightning bolts. But he didn’t, and that’s his business, not mine.

I would be content with a chastened Senate and House, recognizing that people have been confused and stupid about how to deal with women in the workplace, debating a new set of rules of conduct toward women, and a set of transparency rules for workplace behavior of elected officials.

Mike Pence made a very good contribution to this, and the Democrats erupted, but it’s about time to have a pragmatic discussion on this point.

Such a discussion MUST include the frank recognition that some women throw themselves at public officials, and what to do (or not do) about it.

This discussion can be made an excuse to avoid action of the current administration’s picks for appointments, or its legislative agenda. We are capable of multi-tasking.

I also think that bringing frivolous accusations of sexual impropriety against electoral candidates should be banned in the court of public opinion: I think we are well down that road, and no official action need be taken.

However, lawyers involved in making such frivolous accusations can and should be at risk for disbarment.

    Valerie in reply to Valerie. | November 16, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Should read

    This discussion can NOT be made an excuse to avoid action of the current administration’s picks for appointments, or its legislative agenda.

    I would prefer knowing the names of the congress critters who had harassment hush money paid out for them.

    Sexual harassment in the workplace has been an issue for decades. I see no reason to give Congress a pass because they didn’t know the rules.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | November 16, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Not sure that qualifies as groping. His hands/fingers are barley touching the flak jacket where her breasts would be if she were not wearing one.

Probably just a spontaneous attempt to add a little levity to the situation. I don’t see any malice on his part. Some humor is based on absurdity and simulating feeling up an attractive sleeping woman who is wearing a flak jacket and helmet is absurd. And it looks bad, but he’s not trying to commit sexual violence against her. Or harm her. Or violate her. Or hurt her. I can see why she’s upset about it. Nobody enjoys being the butt of a joke.

The more serious accusation is him insisting on kissing her. Almost demanding it. And pestering her until she finally “consents”. Then shoving his tongue down her throat. That’s gross.

    Um, yeah, from the picture, you could formulate that perspective. From the story, you could not possibly. He’d already stuck his tongue in her mouth and got read the riot act before he pulled the stunt on her while sleeping on a flight back from the USO tour.

    This was not a case of old Al hammin’ it up.

    “hands barely touching” – hey, it’s a photo, a snapshot. Who knows what was going on before and after that point in time.

    “adding levity to the situation” – it’s a flight back to the states after several weeks on an USO tour. What is the situation – a bunch of guys checking out a sleeping woman and doing a frat boy type of joke. If he actually touched her, she may woken up and become aware of the situation. Then, he would be in bigger trouble since there was a planeload of people around to witness her reaction.

    And, during the tour, Franken did other petty insults, including drawing horns on her pictures. So this was just a continuation of his harassment. She just didn’t know about it until she saw the pictures after the fact.

Perhaps Professor Jacobson can explain why Jewish men are so frequently named in these sexual harassment complaints?

Had I been the young lady’s husband, I would have sought immediate justice, if you know what I mean.

And of course, that rino rat mcconnell is protecting him:

McConnell Calls for Ethics Review of Franken Allegations, No Call Yet for His Removal:

    That’s okay. If McConnell uses this to whitewash Franken while also using it to threaten Roy Moore, his hypocrisy will be exposed.
    The Senate is actually the one on trial here.

Bucky Barkingham | November 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

I predict that Franken’s LibDem supporters will use two arguments against Senate discipline of him: 1) The alleged actions took place before he was a Senator so therefore the Senate does not have jurisdiction; 2) It should be left to the voters of Minnesota to decide if they want to return Franken to the Senate in light of these allegations.

Notice that the same people will not credit either argument in the case of candidate Moore.

Not that I had ever thought that Franken was the epitome of intelligent, but, it speaks volumes about the arrogance, obnoxiousness, classlessness and self-entitlement of this dolt that he would unabashedly mug for the camera while grabbing (or, mock-grabbing) a sleeping woman’s breasts.

The constitution does not limit in any way the power of each house of congress to expel its members by a 2/3 vote. But there is a very long-standing tradition in both houses that this power will only be used for offenses committed during the member’s current term. From Powell v McCormack:

On several occasions, the House has debated whether a member can be expelled for actions taken during a prior Congress, and the House’s own manual of procedure applicable in the 90th Congress states that “both Houses have distrusted their power to punish in such cases.” Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R.Doc. No. 529, 89th Cong., 2d Sess., 25 (1967); see G. Galloway, History of the House of Representatives 32 (1961). The House rules manual reflects positions taken by prior Congress. For example, the report of the Select Committee appointed to consider the expulsion of John W. Langley states unequivocally that the House will not expel a member for misconduct committed during an earlier Congress:

“[I]t must be said that with practical uniformity the precedents in such cases are to the effect that the House will not expel a Member for reprehensible action prior to his election as a Member, not even for conviction for an offense. On May 23, 1884, Speaker Carlisle decided that the House had no right to punish a Member for any offense alleged to have been committed previous to the time when he was elected a Member, and added, ‘That has been so frequently decided in the House that it is no longer a matter of dispute.'”

H.R.Rep. No. 30, 69th Cong., 1st Sess., 1-2 (1925).

[Footnote 29]
Other Congresses have expressed an identical view. The Report of the Judiciary Committee concerning the proposed expulsion of William S. King and John G. Schumaker informed the House:

“Your committee are of opinion that the House of Representatives has no authority to take jurisdiction of violations of law or offenses committed against a previous Congress. This is purely a legislative body, and entirely unsuited for the trial of crimes. The fifth section of the first article of the Constitution authorizes each house to determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

“This power is evidently given to enable each house to exercise its constitutional function of legislation unobstructed. It cannot vest in Congress a jurisdiction to try a member for an offense committed before his election; for such offense a member, like any other citizen, is amenable to the courts alone.”

H.R.Rep. No. 815, 44th Cong., 1st Sess., (1876). See also 15 Cong.Rec. 4434 (1884) (ruling of the Speaker); H.R.Rep. No. 81, 42d Cong., 3d Sess., 8 (1873) (expulsion of James Brooks and Oakes Ames); H.R.Rep. No. 179, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., 4-5 (1858) (expulsion of Orsamus B. Matteson).

Note that the court does not in any way endorse this view, but merely notes its existence. And of course it is an overriding constitutional principle that no congress may bind its successors, so the fact that past congresses have taken this view is no reason why this one must do the same. But when considering what the current senate is likely to do, both about Franken and about Moore, it is something to take into account.

This is the perfect story because it exposes the hypocrisy of both Democrats and the GOPe at the same time.

Want to hear something really funny?

Mike Pence wouldn’t let himself be alone with women visitors

We can see the difference between Moore and Franken. One is in a he said-she said position but the other is so stupid that he photographed his despicable act.

I am not sympathetic to sexual predators, but there are reasons why there are rules of evidence, due process, and old those other things going back to the Magna Carta (and two or three reliable witnesses, going all the way back to Moses Our Teacher).

I have a lot of suspicion about some of the accusations going around. I remember Duke University’s lacrosse players who were accused of rape, but, it turned out, falsely. There was Herman Cain, against whom they trotted out the old racist stereotype of the black male sexual predator–but when he dropped out of the presidential race, those charges mysteriously went away.

What of Moore? The first accuser is an activist for the Democratic Party. The second, apparently, has a yearbook signature which may be forged. Further, when she was getting her divorce in Moore’s court a number of years back, she didn’t ask for Moore to recuse himself. Why didn’t anyone come forward when Moore’s career as a judge was down and out over his refusal to remove the Decalogue from the courthouse lawn? This is all admittedly fishy.

While I am aware as anyone of the legends of the Hollywood casting couch and that the place has long been notorious for sexual experimentation, I’m starting even to wonder whether a few of the accusations against some of the Hollywood bigwigs might not also be fishy. Sure, people like Harvey Weinstein and others under accusation went into an industry that taught them that getting sexual favors was one of the “perks” of success. But of the women and young men now making accusations, I’d like to know how many might have found themselves in consensual relationships that went sour? Did some, at the time, think they were “just paying show biz dues”, or “flipping the bird at a repressive, ‘puritanical’ upbringing?” These are important questions.

Even with Big Bill Clinton, it seems that Monica Levinsky was herself sexually adventurous, and fund herself with a powerful man all too willing to accept sexual favors (even if I’m still of the mind that the Clintons are people with YUUUUGE character flaws).

Let’s look closely.