Franken’s Female Ex-staffers Defend Him As A ‘Champion For Women’


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Grace Carr Reporter
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Seven women who used to work for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, have come together to defend him as a “champion for women” on Friday.

Katherine Blauvelt, Alexandra Fetissoff, Jessi Held, Natalie Violin Lehr, Karen Saxe, Charlotte Slaiman and Bethany Snider all signed a statement. The Hill reported the statement said:

Many of us spent years working for Senator Franken in Minnesota and Washington. In our time working for the senator, he treated us with the utmost respect. He valued our work and our opinions and was a champion for women in both the legislation he supported and in promoting women to leadership roles in our offices.

The statement come after news anchor Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of sexually harassing her during a United Service Organizations entertainment tour in the Middle East in 2006. She alleges that Franken, a writer for “Saturday Night Live” at the time, wrote a script that featured him kissing her, and harassed her, according to KABC(RELATED: Woman Accuses Senator Al Franken Of Molesting Her During USO Tour).

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” Franken responded in a statement. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldnt have done it.”

“I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” Franken said, according to the Hill. Franken apologized for the incident and called for an ethics investigation into his own behavior afterwards.

“I will gladly cooperate,” Franken said.

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