Al Franken accuser: 'I've been angry about it ... for over 10 years'

Emilio Banks
November 17, 2017

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said the allegations against Franken are "disturbing" and should be investigated. I said something like, 'Relax Al, this isn't SNL...we don't need to rehearse the kiss'.

Reuters was unable to independently verify Tweeden or Franken's accounts.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Tweeden explained that she didn't report the incidents because she didn't want to be the troublemaker. "People make mistakes and of course he knew he made a mistake".

Franken has issued two statements on the allegations since Tweeden's column was published, apologizing to her but saying he remembered the incidents differently.

"The apology? Sure, I accept it", she said. "Maybe I can be somebody's Jackie Speier and they can tell their story in real time and not wait".

In Franken's statement - a follow-up to a widely criticized brief apology released earlier Thursday - the former funnyman apologized more effusively to Tweeden and for his actions.

"I've been angry about it, Jake, for over 10 years", she said. "It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate", he said.

"The behavior reported today is unacceptable and deeply disappointing".

In a lengthy blog post, Leeann Tweeden said that Franken, who was then only a comedian and "Saturday Night Live" alum, "put his hand on the back of [her] head, mashed his lips against [hers] and aggressively stuck his tongue in [her] mouth".

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Rooney, who passed away in 2011, was never accused of any crimes in his lifetime.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to call for an ethics committee probe into the allegations against Franken.

For Democrats, the swift requests for an investigation into Franken were necessary to avoid the suggestion of hypocrisy, since a lot of them have condemned Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of making advances to teenagers when he was a local prosecutor in his 30s.

Tweeden said she told her husband and showed him the photo, but did not come forward at the time because she was anxious about the potential backlash and impact it might have on her career to make such accusations against an influential male.

"This is what you should be asking me about", Palin said, as she talked to reporters in the US Capitol, complaining about "double standards here".

She said she hoped her allegations would prompt other women to share their own experiences.

Franken was elected to the Senate in 2008, defeating Republican incumbent Norm Coleman by a margin of 312 votes.

Coming from the world of comedy, I've told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were amusing but later came to realize were just plain offensive.

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