MSNBC: Franken Was Mock Groping Radio Host, ‘Not Actually Groping’ Her

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Nov 16, 2017 8:45 PM
MSNBC: Franken Was Mock Groping Radio Host, ‘Not Actually Groping’ Her

As I’ve said many times, folks. MSNBC’s sole purpose is to keep liberal blood pressures from skyrocketing. For those on the Roy Moore campaign, today was something of a relief in the sense that Sen. Bob Menendez’s mistrial in his corruption case and Al Franken’s (D-MN) sexual impropriety dominated the news cycle. Moore, the Republican candidate in the upcoming Alabama Senate special election, has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, with allegations ranging from molestation to assault.

With Franken, this incident dates back to a 2006 USO tour in the Middle East, which Christine wrote up today, where radio host Leeann Tweeden accused the Minnesota Democrat of groping her (via 790 KABC):

In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.

[…]

As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.

On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’

[…]

He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.

I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.

I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.

I felt disgusted and violated.

[…]

The tour wrapped and on Christmas Eve we began the 36-hour trip home to L.A. After 2 weeks of grueling travel and performing I was exhausted. When our C-17 cargo plane took off from Afghanistan I immediately fell asleep, even though I was still wearing my flak vest and Kevlar helmet.

It wasn’t until I was back in the US and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw this one…

[…]

I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.

I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.

How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?

Well, at MSNBC, they did what they did best to give Franken some cover, with Newsbusters questioning whether the liberal news network was engaging in slut shaming. Scott Whitlock clipped reporter Kasie Hunt’s breakdown of the incident, where she said it was mock grabbing, not actually groping:


We are starting to see some immediate reaction to this on Capitol Hill to those allegations and you covered what she had to say pretty well. In a nutshell, she said she was on this USO tour that Al Franken wrote — he was a comedian then, not a Senator — wrote into the script that he should kiss her. Tried to get her to rehearse it. It was uncomfortable. She avoided him after that. Then he took a picture, which his office now says was of a joke, that showed him potentially —  not actually groping, but mock-groping her while she was asleep.

“Doesn’t Tweeden have a right to be believed on her own terms and not have a journalist downgrade her claims against a liberal, Democratic senator?” asked Whitlock. Well, it seems the ghosts of Bill Clinton have made their way back into this whole fiasco. Both Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have called for an ethics probe into the matter. Franken said he would cooperate