Senator Al Franken (D-MN) gave several interviews in Minnesota to address the recent accusations that he had sexually harassed/assaulted more than three women. He wanted to attempt to clear the air and told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he was, "'embarrassed and ashamed” and that he hoped to “gradually regain” his constituents’ — and all of America’s — trust and confidence."
He also stated that he has been shocked at the allegations levied against him, and that he has no memory of any photographs or situations his victims claim. When asked by Minnesota Public Radio host Cathy Wurzer if any more women might be coming forward, “to accuse you of groping, patting, whatever, or is this it?” The embattled senator responded:
“I don’t know. “If you had said to me two weeks ago that a woman was going to say that I had made her uncomfortable and disrespected her in one of these ways I would have said ‘no,'” Franken responded. He added, “So, you know, I don’t know. I can’t say.”
KABC host Leeann Tweeden opened this vault, telling her story of her time with Franken on the USO Tour. Since then more women have come forward to tell their stories of encounters with Franken.
Lindsay Menz was 26 years old and attending the 2010 Minnesota State Fair to support her father's small business when she posed for a photo with sitting Senator Franken. As her husband snapped the photo, Menz alleges that Franken blatantly groped her behind:
“[He] 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 … 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 … You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me.”
When asked about the incident, Franken told CNN:
“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture … I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”
Two more anonymous women also shared their stories that Franken grabbed them inappropriately one at a June 2007 event held by the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus and the other during a Democratic Fundraiser held in Minneapolis.
“My mother loves Al Franken. She listened to Air America [on which Franken had a radio show] every day,” the first woman said. ”I saw him and asked if we could take a photo together for my mother, and we stood next to each other … and down his hand went.”
Read More at the Washington Post