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Two More Women, Including an Army Vet, Accuse Franken of Sexual Misconduct

Two More Women, Including an Army Vet, Accuse Franken of Sexual Misconduct

“I’ve never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast.”

Two more females have come forward with accusations against Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), including an army veteran.

Army Veteran Stephanie Kemplin has accused Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of groping her breasts during a USO tour in 2003. An unnamed former New England elected offical told Anna Merlan at Jezebel that Franken tried to plant a “wet, open-mouthed kiss” on her in 2006 on stage at an event.

Stephanie Kemplin

Kemplin spoke to CNN about her incident:

“When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast,” Kemplin said in an interview. “I’ve never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side.”

Kemplin repeatedly used the word “embarrassed” to describe her immediate reaction at the time.

“I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself flushed,” she said. “And I remember thinking — is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand.”
She added: “It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident. I’m very confident saying that.”

Kemplin told CNN that Franken kept his hand on her breast “from five to 10 seconds” and then she shifted her body to remove his hand before the photographer took the photo.

In one phone call with CNN, Kemplin broke down in tears:

“I was in a war zone… You were on a USO tour — are you trying to boost the morale of the troops or are you trying to boost your own?” she said. “I just feel so sorry for that young girl in that picture.”

Kemplin said she did not say anything to Franken at the time.

“You’re immediately put on the spot. What are you going to do? What are you going to do? Your mind goes a mile a minute,” she said. “Who was I going to tell?”

She also doesn’t recall telling any fellow soldiers about the incident afterwards because she felt ashamed and did not have peers she felt she could confide in. But she discussed it with multiple family members and relatives, including her sister, as well as an ex-boyfriend. CNN interviewed both.

New England Official

The former elected official in New England told Jezebel she preferred to remain anonymous, but told Merian what happened in 2006:

According to the woman’s account, she was working as the chair of her town’s Selectboard in 2006 when Franken, who was then a host for the progressive radio station Air America, came to her community. The woman was invited to appear as a guest in a live taping of his show and be interviewed in a theater in front of a large audience. Jezebel has independently confirmed that she appeared on the show.

After the interview, the woman tells us, “I reached out my hand to shake his.” Then, she says, “He took it and leaned toward me with his mouth open. I turned my head away from him and he landed a wet, open-mouthed kiss awkwardly on my cheek.”

The woman says she was in disbelief. “I was stunned and incredulous. I felt demeaned. I felt put in my place.” She says, too, that although they were in an extremely public place, no one noticed: “It was onstage in front of a full theater… It was insidious. It was in plain sight and yet nobody saw it.” She adds, referring to the women who say Franken groped them during photo ops: “The other women’s accounts of him grabbing their buttocks in front of their mothers and husbands, I believe them.”

Franken announced his candidacy for the senate in 2007. The woman told Jezebel “she’s long admired Franken’s politics,” but wants him to take responsibility:

“My intent in coming forward is not to negate the good work he’s done or smear his name,” she told us. “I want him to take personal responsibility for his actions, learn from this, not repeat the behavior, and go forward with respect in all his interactions with women.”

The woman’s sister confirmed her account to Jezebel. She describes herself as a liberal and said his actions against her sister “tainted” the way she viewed him.

A friend of the woman also confirmed the account:

A friend of the woman told us that she, too, was told about the incident shortly after it took place. She remembered the elected official telling her about it after seeing Leann Tweeden’s story, she says. “I said, wait a minute, this rings a bell.” She also describes her politics as liberal: “We don’t have an agenda to bring this guy down and we didn’t at the time.”

Franken’s Apology

Franken gave a short press conference on Monday outside of his office to offer an apology to those women who had already come forward with allegations. Radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden claimed that Franken forcibly kissed her and groped her breast as slept in 2006 during a USO tour. A few days later, Lindsay Menz said that Franken grabbed her butt during a photo-op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

Last week, HuffPo published a report with claims from two anonymous females with similar cases to Menz’s. They said that Franken groped their butts at a political event and then suggested they all go to the bathroom.

Franken told reporters that he didn’t know if other females will come forward.

His office responded to CNN’s Kemplin story:

A Franken spokesperson told CNN Wednesday night: “As Sen. Franken made clear this week, he takes thousands of photos and has met tens of thousands of people and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct. He remains fully committed to cooperating with the ethics investigation.”

His office has not responded to Jezebel’s request for a comment or statement, though.

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Comments

Franken is a pig. (See the period?)

I’ve managed all my life to never grab a woman’s butt or cup her breast during any kind of photo-taking. Or any other kind of casual social event.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Ragspierre. | November 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    That’s a low bar for most of us men to clear: “don’t grope or molest a woman”. Al Franken managed to plow into the bar. Repeatedly.

    Arminius in reply to Ragspierre. | November 30, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    If she wants my hand there, she’ll put it there.

    My default position is that my sexual attention is unwelcome. The fact that I can only cite three instances in my entire life where I was wrong a) shows just how pathetic my life has been and b) the rule is generally true.

    And really, only two times counted because I can guarantee you that had it been you driving that maroon ’88 Mustang 5.0 convertible around Pensacola nearly 30 years ago, wearing a Navy officer’s summer white uniform, that girl from Little Rock on spring break would have fallen in love with you.

    There is actually a reason why I put things the way I did. I’m not God’s gift to women and I’ve never walked around acting or thinking like I was. To the point where I didn’t pick up on signals so obvious that a couple of girls did move my hand in a “What, are you really this stupid?” kind of way.

    I am positive my refusal to grope women angered few if any of them outside of this small, elite circle. I have nothing but contempt for these toads. Franken says he is a warm person, who likes to give hugs? No, he is contemptible swine. I’ve been hugging people since early childhood and I never considered the possibility it could involve T&A.

Who knew that the National Enquirer’s business model would be prophetic and be adopted by the entire journalist community. I think that we have figured out, by now that Al Franken was a sexist pig who took liberties with women whenever possible. Not unexpected in a politician. In fact, historically it has been a seeming job requirement.

At this point, does any ordinary person, other than people who routinely purchase supermarket tabloids, really care? After all, we allowed an admitted rapist to remain in the WH and even get reelected. We elected and reelected a man who refused to release his state birth certificate when there were reasonable questions concerning his Constitutional qualifications for the job. We refuse to prosecute a Secretary of State who violated a slew of federal laws with regard to storage and dissemination of classified material. And we’re getting all hot and bothered about a guy who simply gropes women or others who ask women out for a drink and send then late might mash notes. And, we still have no repeal of Obamacare, no tax reform and no border wall. Priorities?

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | November 30, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    “After all, we allowed an admitted rapist to remain in the WH and even get reelected.”

    You’re nuts, and a liar. Post a link to any such “admission”.

    “We elected and reelected a man who refused to release his state birth certificate when there were reasonable questions concerning his Constitutional qualifications for the job.”

    You’re nuts, and a liar. Even your Great Goad Cheeto has at least pretended to give up on that insanity.

    C. Lashown in reply to Mac45. | November 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you.

4th armored div | November 30, 2017 at 12:20 pm

why hasn’t McConnell started impeachment proceedings begining with hearings ?
Same for Ryan to eject Franken and Conyers.

these perverts are paid by the public – just like the 17M payoffs.

    stevewhitemd in reply to 4th armored div. | November 30, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Because neither the House nor the Senate impeach a fellow member. That’s not how it’s done.

    From the Constitution, Article I, Section 5, paragraph 2: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.”

    Neither chamber controls the membership of the other chamber. If the House wants to expel Mr. Conyers, it may do so by 2/3 majority vote. Ditto for the Senate and Mr. Franken.

    I’m not being pedantic. There is no complicated system, no inordinately complex series of steps to take. The House and Senate typically will have its respective ethics committee review the evidence, hold a hearing, and make a recommendation, and then the chamber as a whole will vote on that recommendation. That’s all they have to do.

    Faced with that, most members resign. Some fight it out. I don’t see Conyers fighting at this point in time; his own party leader came out today against him. He’ll resign tomorrow evening (Friday evening being the slowest news day, of course). Franken is another story as Schumer and Durbin so far are mum. He may fight, and as far as I know, there is no discernible movement by the Senate Ethics Committee.

So Mary, you going to accept this apology from Franken again?

Anybody ever read what Kennedy and Dobbs?

https://www.gq.com/story/kennedy-ted-senator-profile

Franken is not even close to this. They were going after underage women. Come on give Franken a pass and go after the real stories. Franken is a small fish in a big pond and Conyer is an stale old fart.

We need something good like Nancy and Chuck at one of Barney Frank’s parties with pictures.

    MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | November 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I lol about the two down votes. Mom must be calling down the basement saying it is time to feed the cats.

    Haves some guts and respond. Read the link about Ted and Chris molesting underage girls. I have to give the Jacobin credit, I think he holds the record for the most down votes on LI and he is still hanging in there.

    C. Lashown in reply to MarkSmith. | November 30, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great if the pictures showed up during their Christmas break – a little gift from Santa, shoved up their hidden places.

    “Franken is a small fish in a big pond and Conyer is an stale old fart…”

    Franken is a United States Senator (one of 100) and he is a pervert.
    Conyers might be a stale old fart, but he is corrupt and a pervert – and a United States Congressman (one of 435.)

    There are only 535 elected federal legislative officials in a nation of 323+ million people.

    These pervs are BIG fish in a SMALL but very consequential pond. They need to be removed.

The List of folks who covered up scandals with taxpayer money hangs over them all like a sword.

She looks pretty cheerful in the photo. Not like someone who just suffered one of Al’s serial indignities. So she “covered” for him by pretending it didn’t happen? And now, decades later, we’re supposed to get excited.

Sorry, if she’s uninterested in defending herself from such depredations, well then, so am I. Sure, Al’s a jerk … but his enablers don’t come off looking too good, either.

    It’s a very tough and confusing thing to be on the receiving end of sexual molestation.

    Turn it around and think about it from the perspective of a male victim:

    The thousands of men who remained silent for decades after being sexuall abused by homosexual priests:
    http://www.snapnetwork.org/

    The thousands of men in prison who must survive homosexual assault:
    https://theintercept.com/2017/11/21/prison-rape-sexual-assault-violence/

    Now think back to the point of view of Jenny Lumet —

    Russell Simmons is stepping down after screenwriter Jenny Lumet claimed he sexually assaulted her:

    “Lumet wrote that when she was 24 and out at a restaurant, Simmons, then 34, offered to give her a lift home in his limousine. She claims that when she got into the car and tried to give the driver her address, Simmons said “no,” twice. The driver then took the two to Simmons’ apartment. “I felt dread and disorientation,” Lumet wrote. “I wanted to go home. I said I wanted to go home. I didn’t recognize the man next to me.

    “She said she was shuffled into his apartment and into his bedroom. “I said ‘Wait.’ You said nothing,” Lumet said. “I made the trade in my mind. I thought ‘just keep him calm and you’ll get home.'” Then, Lumet said, Simmons raped her:
    https://www.salon.com/2017/11/30/russell-simmons-leaves-def-jam-following-disturbing-rape-allegation/

    Lumet said nothing for 26 years. Can you figure out why?

“…and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct.”

No, he walks around and his hands and arms just encounter the odd breast or buttock (always exclusively female). And once this accidental contact is made, the hand sort of becomes locked in position for 10, 20 seconds, or longer. This is understandable. Happens all the time. Especially in Mr. Franken’s case.

Do I really need the /sarc tag here? Didn’t think so.

The flying obvious that’s not said about franken:

He’s a flasher:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/exhibitionism

Flashing can lead to worse crimes:
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/06/flashing_can_lead_to_worse_cri.html

“Flasher Franken.”

    I found this interesting from your psychtoday link above:

    “Risk factors for the development of exhibitionistic disorder in males include antisocial personality disorder, alcohol abuse, and an interest in pedophilia.”

    Ultimately, I think this is where this is going. We’ve heard the rumors for decades. I keep hearing bits and pieces being exposed (pun intended) on the fringes. Add in Biden, Weiner, etc., etc. and you have to wonder if this is less about groping and workplace harassment than it is about something much worse.

Any decent person defending Frankenstein or his actions can get in line behind Gloria Steinem after her defense of Bill Clinton. They will regret it later when they fully grasp what it says about them.

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