A former Democratic congressional aide is accusing Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of trying to kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006.
The woman told POLITICO that she was gathering her things to leave the radio studio when she turned around and Franken was in her face.
She says she avoided his kiss and hurriedly left the room, but Franken told her on her way out, “It’s my right as an entertainer.”
“He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked,” the aide said. “I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer.’”
Two coworkers independently verified the aide’s version of events to POLITICO. One was told about the incident shortly after it happened in 2006, while the other was told in 2009 or 2010.
Franken said the allegation is “categorically not true” and the idea he would say it was his “right” to kiss her is “preposterous.”
The Democratic aide is the seventh woman to accuse Franken of sexual misconduct.
The aide said she was inspired to come forward by Franken’s various apologies, because she did not feel they expressed full culpability. In many of the apologies, Franken claimed to recall a different version of events.
“I don’t want to be in the position of deciding whether to tell this story, but I’m not the person who put me in that position. He did that,” the aide said. “I think for this moment in time to lead to meaningful change there has to be more than ‘I’m ashamed but I remember things differently’ accounting.”
She also said it bothered her to see Franken in 2016 condemning then-candidate Donald Trump after the Access Hollywood tape came out.
“I felt like it was really hypocritical,” she asserted.