A radio broadcaster in California has accused Democratic Senator Al Franken of groping her while she slept and forcing her to kiss him in 2006. On Thursday, Leeann Tweeden posted a photo showing Franken appearing to place his hands on her breasts over her Kevlar vest while she was sleeping on a plane. The two were on a tour entertaining U.S. soldiers abroad. At the time, Franken was working as a comedian. Tweeden said the photo was taken after Franken forcibly kissed her while rehearsing a skit.
Leeann Tweeden: “And he just put his hand on the back of my head, and he mashed his face against—I mean, it happened so fast. And he just mashed his lips against my face, and he stuck his tongue in my mouth so fast. And all I can remember is that his lips were really wet, and it was slimy.”
Senator Franken apologized and called for an Ethics Committee investigation of himself. President Trump has weighed in on the controversy. He wrote on Twitter, “The Al Frankenstien [sic] picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?” Trump himself has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by at least 16 women.
This all comes as the U.S. Congress Office of Compliance says it has paid out more than $17 million in settlements for sexual harassment, racial discrimination and other issues.