McConnell Calls For Ethics Review Of Al Franken Allegations, But Refuses To Talk About Trump
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday called on the Senate Ethics Committee to review allegations that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) kissed and groped a woman without her consent in 2006. At the same time, McConnell is refusing to address sexual harassment allegations against President Donald Trump.
“As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this. Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable — in the workplace or anywhere else,” McConnell said in a statement.
Leeann Tweeden, a TV host and sports broadcaster, accused Franken of groping her, without her consent, while she was asleep. She provided a photo as evidence.
The incident happened in December 2006, she said, when she and Franken, then a comedian, were on a USO Tour to “entertain our troops.”
Tweeden published a photo in which Franken appears to grabbing Tweeden’s breast while she’s asleep.
The fact that Franken was posing for the camera in front of dozens of American soldiers indicates that he was trying to be funny, but Franken said he “shouldn’t have done it.”
Franken apologized on Thursday, saying, “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann.”
“As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it,” he added.
McConnell’s push for the Ethics Committee to review the allegation against Franken comes after he warned Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, a Republican, that he would face an ethics probe if he wins next month’s special election over allegations of sexual misconduct toward teenage girls.
However, McConnell dodged a question on whether he believes the women who have accused President Trump of sexual harassment.
“Look, we’re talking about Al Franken,” McConnell said when asked. “And I’d be happy to address that if there are any further questions.”