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Title: Al Franken accuser says disgusting USO tour grope photo was an 'in your face' parting shot after nearly two weeks of being 'belittled and humiliated' by future senator
Source: Daily Mail
URL Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art ... 5092825/Al-Franken-accuser-Gro
Published: Nov 17, 2017
Author: David Martosko
Post Date: 2017-11-17 12:47:19 by IbJensen
Keywords: None
Views: 136
Comments: 4

Radio host Leeann Tweeden says now-Senator Al Franken groped and forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in Afghanistan

Franken, then a comedy writer, was photographed grabbing her breasts while she slept on a troop transport airplane

Tweeden now says the picture wasn't meant as a joke, but as a final 'in your face' insult after a nearly two-week tour full of personal humiliation

On 'Good Morning America' she described passive-aggresive gestures like drawing devil-ears on 8x10 glossy photos as she tried to autograph them for fans

President Trump weighed in overnight, tweeting: '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?'

The radio host groped and forcibly kissed by now-Senator Al Franken during a 2006 USO show says the now-infamous photo of the Democrat's hands on her breasts while she slept wasn't meant as a joke: It was an 'in your face' parting shot after nearly two weeks of being 'belittled and humiliated.'

Former Playboy model LeeAnn Tweeden said Friday on 'Good Morning America' that she 'had to endure being with him for almost two weeks' after 'he stuck his tongue in my mouth' as Franken mocked her with one passive-aggressive gesture after another.

In some cases, she said, Franken would draw devil horns and tails on her glossy photos while she was trying to autograph them.

'So at the end when I got that picture, it was like the final parting shot of the, "Ha, ha, she's going to see this when she gets home" that I couldn't, you know, see him face-to-face to confront him.'

'It was like, "She's going to see that!" and sort of, that was like his parting shot of the, you know, kind of, "In your face! I got you one last time".'

(Radio host Leeann Tweeden said Friday that an infamous photo of now-Senator Al Franken groping her aboard a military plane after a 2006 USO tour was no joke, but a purposeful 'in your face' gesture from Franken after she endured nearly two weeks of humiliation from him)

(Franken is a Democratic lawmaker who excoriated Harvey Weinstein and supported his many accusers last month, ultimately giving a women's charity in Minnesota all the money Weinstein had donated to his political campaigns – but the facade now seems to be wearing off)

(Franken groped Tweeden while she slept on a military transport plane (pictured) and forcibly kissed her backstage during a 2006 USO goodwill tour; she now says this photo was meant to send her a message that he had power over her

'Most people are just hearing about the forced kiss and then the picture at the end,' Tweeden said, 'but it was – you know, it was the humiliation through the two weeks of the tour that people don't hear about.'

Franken's lengthy apology for groping Tweeden a few years before coming to Congress seemed to undermine a political reputation he had carefully cultivated as a champion of women's issues.

He reached the point of tears in 2012 while arguing on the Senate floor for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Among the first things he sponsored as a senator in 2009 was legislation blocking the Pentagon from contracting with companies that don't allow their employees to sue for jobsite sexual harassment or discrimination.

But with his stunning fall from Democratic darling to dirty old man, and a lengthy Senate Ethics Committee investigation facing him, Franken spent all of Thursday holed up in his Capitol Hill office – even skipping the day's legislative votes.

By nighttime President Donald Trump was weighing in, calling him 'Al Frankenstien' in a series of tweets, calling him a hypocrite for 'lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women.'

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 tweeted.

Tweeden said Friday morning that she wasn't passing judgment on Franken's job performance in Washington, and 'I didn't do this to have him step down.'

'I think Al Franken does a lot of good things in the Senate,' she added, saying his political future is 'for the people of Minnesota to decide.'

'I just wanted him to understand what he did was wrong – and how he treated me,' Tweeden said.

'And how abusers who I think do that under the guise that "It's funny" or "I can get away with it because I was a comedian and it's funny." That's never funny.'

Accusations from the radio host, who was a 23-year-old model at the time of her allegations, could send Franken into the same reputational basket with Moore, movie producer Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K. and actor Kevin Spacey.

'It happened so fast. He mashed his lips against my face and stuck his tongue in my mouth so fast,' Tweeden said Thursday.

'All I can remember is that his lips were really wet and slimy and in my mind I called him 'fish lips' the rest of the trip. That's what it reminded me of.'

'He stuck his tongue down my mouth and I remember I pushed him off with my hands and I remember I almost punched him – because every time I see him now my hands clinch into fists.'

'And I said, 'If you ever do that to me again, I won't be so nice about it the second time.' I walked out away from him and I wanted to find a bathroom and rinse my mouth out. I was disgusted.'

Franken's apology was forceful and calculated – and called 'heartfelt' by Tweeden on CNN.

She said she is speaking publicly in part in order to set an example that will one day give her children, ages four and two, a better social climate as they grow up.

'I don't want to be a cliche, but you know, you talk about trying to leave the world a better place for your kids, you know,' she said, shedding a tear.

'You do. You want to leave – you try to set examples for your children.'

'The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women,' Franken wrote in a statement hours after Tweeden went public.

'There's more I want to say, but the first and most important thing – and if it's the only thing you care to hear, that's fine – is: I'm sorry.'

'I respect women. I don't respect men who don't,' the accused government groper added. 'And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.'

He specifically addressed the photo, shot as the USO performance troupe headed home the day before Christmas in 2006.

'For instance, that picture. I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter. There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture,' Franken added.

'And, what's more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it – women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me.'

Tweeden said Thursday that Franken approached her at a USO event just a few years ago and tried to make small talk, without any offer of an 'I'm sorry.'

'He had a chance to apologize to me then, because he knew exactly what he did to me then, and that picture was out there,' she said.

Initially in reputation-saving mode, Franken's office had sent a much shorter statement Thursday as news coverage of Tweeden's story reached a frenzy.

'I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way,' he said then, of the forced-kiss allegation, '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.'

Just 24 hours earlier during a Senate confirmation hearing for a Texas jurist nominated to be a federal judge, Franken engaged in a back-and-forth on one of the nominee's humorous tweets about the right to marry bacon.

'I don't get it,' Franken scolded Judge Don Willett. 'But sometimes when you don't get a joke, it's because it wasn't a joke.'

I respect women. I don't respect men who don't. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed. ... I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter. There's no excuse.

-----Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota Democrat

A reliably liberal champion of women's causes, the senator last month donated to the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center all the money his campaigns and political action committees have received from disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

And he responded to Weinstein's apparent history of serial sexual-assault last month in a stinging Facebook essay, saying that 'the disappointing responses women often face when they go public both embolden harassers and encourage victims to stay silent.'

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a swift statement of his own, calling for a congressional investigation into Tweeden's claims.

'As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter,' McConnell said. '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 added.

Franken said an hour later at the U.S. Capitol that he agrees.

(There is much more at the link)

Poster Comment:

There is NO WAY IN HELL Trump or any other Republican could get caught in a photo like that and not be removed from office. The hypocrisy of the left is sickening. And these people wonder why we detest them. (3 images)

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#1. To: IbJensen (#0) (Edited)

There is NO WAY IN HELL Trump or any other Republican could get caught in a photo like that and not be removed from office. The hypocrisy of the left is sickening. And these people wonder why we detest them.

Despicable, hypocrites AND liars to the nth degree. Without a shred of honor and decency.

You are 110% correct; DEMOCRATS Franken, Clinton, Biden, Kennedy, etal -- the entire crew get a free pass at the most egregious, overt abuses of children, teens, and women.

Trump and any conservative Republican pets a women who flirts with them and they are condemned, indicted, and convicted in two minutes (as we witnessed by the Fake Republican McConnell and the rest of his GOPe Dems-in-sheeps-clothing hypocrites.)

Liberator  posted on  2017-11-17   13:59:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: IbJensen (#0)

Former Playboy model LeeAnn Tweeden ----

If push comes to shove, anyone want to bet that her playboy photo history will become an issue in an attempt to excuse Frankensteins behaviour?

tpaine  posted on  2017-11-17   14:31:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: IbJensen (#0)

And these people wonder why we detest them.

No they don't. They don't care.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-11-17   17:11:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: All (#0)

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2017-11-18   8:27:21 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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