Al Franken of Minnesota would encourage other women to come forward with their own stories of sexual assault or harassment. Tweeden claimed Franken, a former comedian and SNL writer, kissed her without her consent and groped her in 2006 on a United Service Organizations (USO) tour.
Franken's first statement indicated that he believes the skit rehearsal went differently: "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann".
She included a photo in which Franken appears to grabbing Tweeden's breast while she's asleep. His office released a statement saying the photo was meant to be amusing, though he also offered his apologies.
Tweeden is now a broadcaster for KABC radio in Los Angeles and anchors the McIntyre in the Morning show.
McCaskill said she is "shocked and concerned" following the allegations, and called Franken's alleged behavior "completely unacceptable". The host says Franken posed for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept.
"These allegations are disgusting and Democrats who took Senator Franken's campaign money need to take action", said NRCC Communications Director Matt Gorman. But, she says, Franken insisted, and she eventually relented. Additionally, there is an incriminating photo that shows the senator groping her as she lay asleep.
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It has also kicked off an energetic round of but-your-side-does-it-too on Twitter, where conservatives exhausted by the Roy Moore debacle of recent weeks are demanding that Democrats disavow Franken. She wrote that she "said "OK" so he would stop badgering me". "But that was then, this is now", she says. I felt violated all over again. "It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture", he wrote.
"Comedy is no excuse for inappropriate conduct, and I believe there should be an ethics investigation", she added. "Maybe I can be somebody's Jackie Speier, and they can tell their story in real time".
But on the day of the show, Tweeden wrote, she was alone with Franken backstage when he told her, "We need to rehearse the kiss".
"I've decided it's time to tell my story". It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate. Sure", she said. "People make mistakes.
"This is happening to women who have no power and no way to speak up", she said at a press conference. "If there are other people who come out and say he's done this, I don't know".
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said the allegations against Franken are "disturbing" and should be investigated. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth said, "I believe her, and if there's an ethics investigation, that should move forward as well". "I hope the Democratic leader will join me on this".