HE’S BAAAAAACK: Disgraced Democratic Senator Al Franken says he may re-enter politics following #MeToo scandal

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Al Franken, the Minnesota senator forced to step down from his role January after more than a half a dozen women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment, told WCCO-TV that he hasn’t ruled out another political run.

“It was very moving for me. It was very gratifying. I put my heart in the job,” Franken said. “I miss the whole job. I loved that job, I loved the job as Senator. … It was very meaningful for me and bittersweet, I would like to still be there,” Franken said in his first one-on-one interview since the scandal broke.

Asked if he plans to run for office again, he responded, “Well, see, if I say anything there you will put it in the story. I don’t know. I haven’t ruled it out, and I haven’t ruled it in.”

Prior to the multiple claims of sexual harassment surfaced against him, Franken had been an outspoken critic of president Donald Trump, who the former Saturday Night Live comedian referred to as a “sexual predator”.

“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office,” Franken said in December during his final speech on the Senate floor.

Following his resignation, Franken’s Senate seat was replaced by Tina Smith, who is running for re-election this fall.

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Trump accusers appear on Megyn Kelly, seek ‘congressional probe’ of president

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Three women who have publically accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct appeared Monday on ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ calling for a congressional investigation of the president’s “lewd acts”.

In an interview with Kelly, Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Cooks detailed what they claim were acts of unwanted sexual aggression toward them by the president and said each had been the subject of ridicule since coming forward.

Holvey, a former Miss North Carolina who claimed to meet Trump while competing in the Miss America pageant in 2006, told Kelly that the women in the pageant were treated like “pieces of meat” who was “only there for his pleasure”.

“[It was] something I had dreamed and worked so hard for, and I had just turned 20 years old, and I just felt so gross,” Holvey said of Trump, who at that time owned pageant organization. “That’s not what I had signed up for.”

Crooks, who claimed Trump of forcibly kissed her when she met him outside a Trump Tower elevator in 2005 while working as a receptionist at a real estate firm inside the building, said she felt “devastated” after the incident, but claimed she stayed silent afterward out of fear she would lose her job if she spoke out.

“I was uncomfortable because he was someone I saw regularly, and I knew he was a partner of the organization I worked for,” Crooks told Kelly.

Leeds, the oldest of the three women, claims that Trump once grabbed her breasts and tried to slide his hand up her skirt while the pair were traveling on an airplane over three decades ago. “Mr. Trump, he was bored and wanted some entertainment,” she said, adding that she got up and moved to the back of the plane in an effort to “escape” him. Claiming that Trump referred to her as a “cunt” after seeing her at a gala several years ago, Leeds says she’s coming forward now because she “wanted people to know who he is.”

In a joint press conference in New York City following the interview, the women called for Congress to launch an investigation into the president’s alleged misdeeds.

“I ask Congress to put aside their party affiliations and ask that they investigate Trump’s history of sexual misconduct,” demanded Crooks. “If they were willing to investigate Senator Franken, I think it’s only fair that they do the same for Trump.”

This isn’t the first time that the threesome have made such claims against the president. Each made headlines during the 2016 election when they came forward, calling then-candidate Trump a “predator” and a “danger to women everywhere”.

The White House said in a statement that the president emphatically denied the claims and that the “timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes”.

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‘STEP DOWN!’: Abuse victims call for Franken, Conyers, Barton to resign

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Willey are calling for Senators Al Franken, (D)-Minn, John Conyers, (D)-Mich., and Joe Barton, (R)- Tex, to resign.

The three women, who have each accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual assault, have scheduled a press conference for Wednesday where they plan to demand that both Franken and Baron vacate their positions immediately in light of the recent allegations against them.

Melanie Morgan, who has accused Sen. Franken of sexual harassment, is also scheduled to attend the press conference, as is Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King. Leslie Millwee, the latest woman to come forward to accuse Clinton of sexual assault, says she too will be present. The event will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Franken is accused of groping multiple women, including radio host Leann Tweeden, who recently came forward with claims that Franken kissed her against her will.

“Our message is clear,” the women said in a press release. “Both Senator Franken and Congressman Conyers must resign now. And Congress must end taxpayer-funded payouts to harassment victims in an effort to silence their voices and complaints.”

Radio talk show host Blanquita Cullum, who has helped to organize the press conference, says their goal is to force the three men to step down.

“There are members we feel have dishonored their office and the American people by conduct unbecoming an elected official. As you can see, it’s not partisan. We feel that way about the left and the right. We’re out there saying it’s not the politics of the right and the left. It’s the politics of the right and the wrong,” said Cullum.

“The other thing we’re going to demand is the release of the list of the slush/hush fund that taxpayers funded to the amount of $17 million over the past 10 years, covering up their private sexual peccadilloes, fights that have involved members from both sides of the aisle and some very high-ranking chiefs of staff,” Cullum continued. “One thing the members have forgotten is who their real bosses are,” she said. “We hired them. It’s our money that’s paid for it. We feel it’s the right thing for them to do to let us know what we’ve been paying for. And if it’s something bad, they need to go.”

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FRANKENGATE: Second woman to accuse Al Franken of sexual assault opens up as Senator continues to deny allegations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The second woman to accuse Democratic Senator Al Franken of sexual assault is stepping up her claims, according to published reports.

Lindsay Menz told her story to CNN on Monday, claiming that Franken groped her while posing for a photo with her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 (http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/20/politics/al-franken-inappropriate-touch-2010/index.html). Menz was the second woman to accuse Franken of sexual assault in less than a week, following allegations made by Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden that Franken forcibly kissed and groped her during a 2006 tour while supporting the USO.

Menz detailed her claims after tweeting about the incident last Thursday, following Tweeden’s revelations.

“In August 2010, @alfranken grabbed me while taking a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair,” Menz tweeted last week. “I felt violated & embarassed. I 100% believe your account of him & his actions, @LeeannTweeden. Thank you for sharing your story. #metoo.”

Menz told CNN the incident occurred almost two years after Franken was elected to the Senate as she worked her father’s radio booth, meeting various elected officials, political candidates, and celebrities at the fair.

Menz says as she posed for the photo with the Minnesota Senator, Franken “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear. It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”

“It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,” she said. “I was like, oh my God, what’s happening.”

“I felt gross. It’d be like being walking through the mall and some random person grabbing your butt,” Menz continued. “You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me.”

In a statement to CNN, Franken denied the allegations but said he apologized if he made Menz feel “uncomfortable” during the encounter.

“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken said. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

The allegations against Franken have led to calls for him to step down, even from some of his own party’s staunchest supporters.

“What kind of party do we want to be?” Democratic South Carolina state representative Bakari Sellers said on Friday. “The Democratic Party has to clean up their own house….And what I mean by that is its fair for me to say, as I do believe, that Al Franken should resign. I’m a Democrat saying Al Franken should resign.”

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FRANKENGATE: Democratic Senator Al Franken hit with allegations of sexual assault

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Democratic Senator Al Franken was hit with allegations Thursday of kissing and groping a woman without her consent.

Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor with KABC in Los Angeles, said she met Franken in December 2006 while on USO tour to entertain military members, and it was then that the sexual assault occurred.

“In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege,” Tweeden said in a statement (http://www.kabc.com/2017/11/16/leeann-tweeden-on-senator-al-franken/).

“(Franken) put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth,” Tweeden claims. “All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.I felt disgusted and violated.”

In a lengthy statement, Franken admitted to the incident and said he regretted any pain it may have caused.

“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,” the junior United States Senator from Minnesota wrote.

“I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t,” he continued. “And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”

The allegations against Franken are just the latest in a series of accusations against high ranking members of the government and entertainment industries.

Over the course of the past month, Alabama Senatorial candidate Roy Moore, actor/director Woody Allen and media mogul Harvey Weinstein have been accused of sexual assault by women who claim they were too intimidated to come forward before.

Meanwhile, lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic sides have called for an investigation into the allegations against Franken.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the accusations “troubling” and said
“sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated.”

 

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