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Lawmakers Reaction to Sen. Franken Sexual Harassment Allegations

Lawmakers Reaction to Sen. Franken Sexual Harassment Allegations Lawmakers Reaction to Sen. Franken Sexual Harassment Allegations |  Photo: WDIO

Associated Press
November 16, 2017 01:07 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says sexual misconduct allegations against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken are "troubling" and he hopes and expects that the Senate Ethics Committee will fully investigate.

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Schumer says, "Sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated."

He said Thursday that a bipartisan ethics panel should "fully investigate this troubling incident, as they should with any credible allegation of sexual harassment."

Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden accused Franken on Thursday of improper conduct during a tour entertaining troops in 2006. Tweeden wrote in an online essay that Franken insisted on rehearsing a skit that included a kiss between the characters, and that he forced his tongue into her mouth.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says the allegations against fellow Democratic Sen. Al Franken are "disturbing" and should be investigated.

Gillibrand has been outspoken about sexual harassment in the military. She stopped short of saying Franken should step aside. She said Franken's explanation that he was joking was insufficient.

Another Democrat says she takes the allegations seriously. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth says, "I believe her, and if there's an ethics investigation, that should move forward as well."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Ethics Committee should review complaints against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.

In a statement Thursday, the top Republican said that "with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter."

The Kentucky Republican said, "Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable_in the workplace or anywhere else."

The statement comes as Senate Republicans have called for Alabama GOP candidate Roy Moore to step aside in the face of allegations he molested two women decades ago. McConnell had led the call. Moore has dug in, saying the allegations are false.

Franken apologized after Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden accused him on of improper conduct during a USO tour. Tweeden wrote that he insisted on rehearsing a kiss for a skit. Tweeden also wrote that Franken posed for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept.

 


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