A Filipino-American radio broadcaster and model has come forward with her story that Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, “forcibly kissed” and groped her during a tour of the Middle East to entertain US troops in 2006 when the lawmaker was then a private citizen.
Franken initially said he couldn’t remember the kissing incident but has since apologized to Fil-Am Lee-Ann Tweeden.
As for the photo, in which he appeared to be groping a sleeping Tweeden while on a plane, Franken said it was “intended to be funny, but wasn’t”.
Tweeden said Franken knew exactly what he was doing.
“Nothing about it is ever funny,” said Tweeden. “Is it funny if he does that to your sister, to your daughter or to your wife?”
Franken has called for an ethics investigation on himself, and said he would gladly cooperate.
Tweeden said she accepted Franken’s apology and was not calling for him to step down from office.
This comes only two days after a hearing in Washington where lawmakers acknowledged that sexual harassment is a widespread problem on Capitol Hill.
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