A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why Al Franken MUST step down immediately. Thursday morning a TV host and radio announcer leveled accusations against sitting Senator Al Franken (D-MN). Franken’s victim not only came forward with her story, but offered proof of her allegations in the form of a picture. Yes, Senator Al Franken posed for a picture while sexually assaulting the victim while she slept.
The TV host and radio announcer, Leeann Tweeden, posted the sordid details of the encounter to her blog on her broadcaster’s web site, http://www.kabc.com/2017/11/16/leeann-tweeden-on-senator-al-franken/. Tweeden also included a picture of Al Franken assaulting her while she slept, as seen above.
Tweeden had participated in a USO Tour in Afghanistan with then comedian Al Franken. Tweeden detailed an encounter in that Franken forced himself upon her and kissed her against her will. Al Franken, who was a writer on Saturday Night Live, had previously wrote a skit in which his character would kiss Tweeden’s.
“When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.”
Tweeden explained how adamant Franken was in his efforts to “rehearse” the kiss. Tweeden would finally relent to Franken’s badgering and agreed to rehearse the scene. She stated her intent to turn her head at the last minute as to avoid making contact with Franken’s lips, but Franken was not having that.
“On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, ‘We need to rehearse the kiss.’ I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’”
“He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.”
“We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”
“I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time. I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.”
Tweeden explained how she was “angry” over the encounter and how she even took steps to ensure she would never be left alone with Frankin for the remainder of the tour. Franken picked up on Tweeden’s desire to stay away from a predator such as himself and decided to retaliate. Tweeden described how Franken “re-payed her with petty insults”. “Including drawing devil horns on at least one of the headshots I was autographing for the troops,” she stated.
Franken’s attack would be far from over. As the tour wrapped up, they all boarded a C-17 Cargo plane to begin their long 36-hour journey back to Los Angeles. Leeann Tweeden describes how she was “exhausted” after “2 weeks of grueling travel and performing,” and how she would immediately fall asleep; Franken saw his chance to assault Tweeden and took it. The event was captured in a photo which shows Franken smiling ear to ear as he sexually assaults a sleeping Leeann Tweeden.
Tweeden describes the shock and violation she felt when she discovered the photo of Al Franken assaulting her in her sleep:
“It wasn’t till I was back in the US and looking through the cd of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw this one (referring to the photo heading this article). I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep. I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny? I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.”
Al Franken has issued his statement on the matter which reads as follows:
“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, 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.”
A troubling statement to say the least. Franken’s words seem to convey he thought sexually assaulting a sleeping victim was “funny.” What’s most disgusting is Franken apologized only after getting caught red-handed in a photo exposing one of the assaults described by his victim, Leeann Tweeden. Franken groped a woman’s breasts against her will and never thought that he did anything wrong until the damning photo came to light.
If the Democratic Party is serious about confronting sexual assault, as they portend to be, then they must force Senator Al Franken to step down immediately.