Trump Slams Al Franken for “Really Bad” Groping Photo, Remains Silent on Roy Moore

The president has been dogged by his own sexual harassment allegations.

Ting Shen/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump, who faced a long string of sexual harassment allegations during the 2016 election, swiftly denounced Sen. Al Franken less than one day after a woman accused the senator of forcibly kissing and groping her in 2006. 

Trump’s Thursday tweets came amid his deafening silence regarding Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, more than a week after the Washington Post first published multiple accounts from women who say when they were teenagers they were sexually assaulted or pursued by Moore while he was in his 30s.

On Thursday morning, broadcaster Leeann Tweeden published a story accusing Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her during a 2006 USO tour the two performed in together. She also provided a photo that showed a smiling Franken reaching to grab her breasts while she was asleep on a plane. 

In his tweets, Trump focused on the photographic evidence against Franken, suggesting that perhaps worse photos exist. Critics seized on the moment to bring up the infamous Access Hollywood recording that captured Trump in 2005 bragging about forcibly grabbing a woman’s “pussy.”

After initially issuing a brief statement apologizing for the incident, Franken on Thursday later released a longer statement saying that he respected women and that he was “disgusted” with himself over the photo.

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” he wrote. “I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.”

Trump has resisted pressure to denounce Moore, even as more women have come forward to the Post and other outlets with similar accounts. As for his own charges of sexual assault, Trump has vigorously denied every one of them.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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