Minnesota Democrat not seen in public since first accusations says of new assertions its difficult to respond to anonymous accusers
Two more women have alleged inappropriate behavior by the Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, “says hes” touched their buttocks during campaign occurrences in his first run for the US Senate.
The ladies spoke to Huffington Post on condition of anonymity, saying the events occurred in Minneapolis in 2007 and 2008. In a statement, Franken said:” It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events .”
Last week, Franken was accused of forcibly kissing Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden while rehearsing for a 2006 USO tour. He was also photographed with his hands above her breasts as she slept. Franken, 66, apologized.
A second woman, Lindsay Menz, alleged on Monday that Franken grabbed her buttocks during a photo op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. Franken, who was by then a senator, said he didn’t remember the picture but carried compunction that Menz seemed “disrespected”.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has called for an ethics investigation, which Franken says he subsistences.
Before entering politics, Franken was a comedian, Saturday Night Live cast member, writer and liberal talk radio host. After expending much of his nearly nine years as senator trying to shed his image as a comic, quietly delving into issues like internet access and the interests of consumers, he rose under the Trump presidency as a producing and popular national Democratic voice, often using comedy as a weapon.
Franken’s rise has now been interrupted by the allegations of inappropriate behavior and “hes not” been realise publicly since the first assertions arose.
” It’s always a great disappointment when commanders you like and admire do bad material ,” said Mike Lux, a liberal Democratic consultant. Lux said it was premature to say how the allegations would affect Franken’s career. Communicating before the Huffington Post report was wrote, Lux added:” If more occurrences come to sun, he’s got a real question .”
Franken canceled a sold-out appearance in Atlanta to promote his volume, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, and aides said he was ” spend time with his family and doing a lot of reflecting “.
Franken came to the Senate in 2009, after a months-long recount dedicated him a 312 -vote victory. He immediately distanced himself from his decades in slapstick, which included off-color jokes about rape and belittling women, and eschewed national reporters.
Instead, he focused on constructing a reputation as a studious senator, pushing legislation to crack down on Wall st. rating agencies he held complicit in the 2007 economic breakdown. As a signature issue, he adopted the push to protect ” net neutrality”, an Obama policy barring internet providers from blocking or hampering websites. This Tuesday, the Trump administration’s Federal Communications Commission said it will destroy that principle.
Franken also helped shape specific areas of Barack Obama’s healthcare law and tackled farm and mental health issues. He readily secured a second six-year word in 2014, overcoming a Republican tycoon.
He appeared on his first Sunday network talk show belatedly in his first term, amidst signs he was bolstering his national profile. But it was Trump’s emergence that taunted out a new Franken, a pivot from staid senator to liberal attack dog.
In withering interrogations in the Senate, Franken has clashed with a parade of Trump cabinet appointees.
” He stirred those people sweat ,” former Senate Democratic aide-de-camp Jim Manley said.” He’s got the ability to channel some of the populist violence against the concerned authorities .”
Franken clashed last month with Jeff Sessions over the attorney general’s descriptions of his contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign. At a January confirmation hearing, Franken bore into education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos when she seemed unable to answer a plan question.
He opposed Trump supreme court pick Neil Gorsuch and combated with Rick Perry over the vigour secretary’s skepticism that increased carbon dioxide emissions induce global warming. He told Tom Price, who has since abdicated as health secretary, that it was ” very hard to believe” he didn’t realize he had owned tobacco inventories.
Trump has himself been accused of sex misbehaviour by 16 ladies, accusations which he denies. He responded to accusations against Franken on Twitter, saying the picture with the sleeping Tweeden was ” real bad, express a thousand words “.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders subsequently said the difference between charges against Franken and Trump was that” Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn’t “.
The president was captured on tape in 2005, in a dialogue with the Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, boasting about sexual abuse. Trump said he would hear women and” grab them by the pussy”, adding:” When you’re a ace they let you do it. You can do anything .”