Does Al Franken Still Have A Shot In 2020?
Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken was seen as a 2020 contender, but a woman has now alleged that the senator groped and kissed her without consent.
News anchor and former Playboy model Leeann Tweeden wrote Thursday that during a 2006 USO tour of the Middle East, Franken harassed her during rehearsals and posed for a photo with his hands on Tweeden’s breasts while she slept. (RELATED: Woman Accuses Senator Al Franken Of Molesting Her During USO Tour)
The Minnesota Democrat said the photo taken of him with his hands on Tweeden “was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t,” and that he doesn’t remember forcefully kissing Tweeden during rehearsals for a skit that included a kiss.
The photo in this story alleging Al Franken kissed/groped a woman against her will is … jarring. This is going to be a major problem on Capitol Hill. https://t.co/KjoTmptift pic.twitter.com/EAaQkqFWd4
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 16, 2017
“I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate,” Franken said in a statement.
The accusations against Franken come after a wave of sexual harassment allegations against prominent figures including Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Kevin Spacey and George H.W. Bush.
The Minnesota Democrat has been viewed as someone who could be a formidable candidate against President Donald Trump.
“Well, people have brought it up, but I think they bring it up about a lot of people,” Franken said in September when asked about the possibility of running for president. “I think that the president of the United States should be someone who really wants to be president of the United States.”
However, denials of ambition for the highest office in the land are quite often.
The Hill reported in August that “associates of Al Franken say they think the Minnesota senator could be talked into running for the White House if he believes he’s the Democrat best positioned to defeat President Trump.”
The same article noted that a Republican National Committee aide thought Franken would be the strongest candidate for Democrats as he “could have more broad appeal to both wings of the party.”
Now Franken is facing sexual harassment allegations three years out from the election.
Some Democrats have refused to condemn Franken, but Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted, “Re Al Franken: I’m shocked and concerned. The behavior described is completely unacceptable.”