POLITICS

Woman Says Al Franken Told Her An Unwanted Kiss Was His 'Right As An Entertainer'

Two more women have now accused the Democratic senator of sexual misconduct.

12/06/2017 11:18 EST | Updated 19 hours ago

Two more women have come forward with sexual misconduct accusations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.).

The seventh woman, a former Democratic congressional aide, told Politico in a report published Wednesday that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her during a taping of a radio show in 2006, before he was elected to the Senate. The eighth, columnist Tina DuPuy, wrote in The Atlantic that Franken groped her at a party in 2009.

The seventh accuser said Franken approached her after her boss left the studio, and she had to “duck” to avoid the radio host’s lips. 

The woman, whom Politico did not name, said that Franken told her the unwanted advance was his “right as an entertainer.” Franken had stood between her and the door, she said.

“It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’” she told Politico. “But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked.”

The Politico story notes that “two former colleagues of the woman independently corroborated her version of events, including Franken telling her he had the right to try to kiss her because he was ‘an entertainer.’”

In a statement provided to HuffPost, Franken said the story was “categorically not true” and “the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous.”

“I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation,” he said.

The Senate Ethics Committee announced last week it plans to investigate the mounting sexual misconduct allegations against Franken, who was elected to the Senate in 2008. A corresponding committee in the House had opened an investigation against Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who abruptly announced his retirement on Tuesday amid numerous sexual harassment accusations.

DuPuy, the eighth accuser, said that Franken, then a senator, squeezed her waist while she posed for a picture with him. The gesture was “inappropriate and unwanted,” she wrote.

The women’s stories follow half a dozen similar reports about Franken’s alleged behavior that have been made public over the past month.

A U.S. Army veteran told CNN that Franken had cupped her breast while she posed for a photo with him in 2003. Another woman, an unnamed former elected official, said Franken tried to give her a “wet, open-mouthed kiss” during an event in 2006. Two more women told HuffPost that Franken groped their backsides in separate incidents, one of which allegedly occurred at an event honoring women.

Previously, Lindsay Menz accused Franken of groping her at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair after radio host Leeann Tweeden wrote in an essay that Franken had kissed and groped her during a USO tour in 2006.

Although he swiftly apologized to Tweeden, Franken has taken a different approach with other women’s accusations. He told CNN that he did not remember meeting Menz, and, in a statement issued days later, apologized for making “some women feel badly” over the course of his career. 

More than 20 Democratic senators and the chairman of the Democratic National Committee called for Franken to resign on Wednesday.

This story has been updated to include Tina DuPuy’s accusation.