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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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