Woman who accused Franken says she accepts his apology

Sen. Al Franken D-Minn. listens at a committee hearing at the Capitol in Washington. Franken apologized Thursday after a Los Angeles radio anchor accused him of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour and of posing

For Democrats, there's not much to lose in attacking Franken; even if this scandal continues to unfold, and more victims come forward, forcing the senator to resign, he would nearly certainly be replaced by a Democrat appointed by Minnesota's Democratic governor. She said Franken acted inappropriately toward her in 2006 while they were on a USO tour overseas.

A radio broadcaster accused US Senator Al Franken on Thursday of touching her chest while she slept and forcing a kiss on her in 2006 when he was still a comedian and the two were preparing to perform before US troops in the Middle East. He apologized to the Los Angeles anchor and said he regretted a posing for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept.

While riffing on ideas involving Rooney finding an empty bottle of sedatives in his desk, Franken suggested Rooney say he had used the drugs to sedate and rape fellow "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl.

Tweeden wrote that she tried to avoid Franken after that, which she believes made him angry.

She added that she wasn't demanding an ethics investigation into Franken, like some top senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, called for. "You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later, and be ashamed".

"But I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann", Franken wrote, according to the Associated Press.

Sen. Ron Wyden
Sen. Ron Wyden

Angry but anxious about what going public might do to her career, Tweeden didn't speak out at the time.

She also said she was inspired to speak out now by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) who revealed in October that while she was a staffer on Capitol Hill, the chief of staff "held my face, kissed me, and stuck his tongue in my mouth". "It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate", he said.

Mr Franken, a former Saturday Night Live writer, apologised for the grope.

"I understand why we need to listen to and believe women's experiences", he said. She added Franken should leave the Senate if the account is true. "I shouldn't have done it", he said. "The Ethics Committee should investigate this matter", the Oregon Democrat tweeted.

"The first thing I want to do it apologize; the Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women", he said. "I hope the Democratic leader will join me on this".

A spokesman for Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, did not immediately return a request for comment when asked about the allegation against Franken.

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