On Thursday, allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) were made public by radio host and former Maxim model Leeann Tweeden. Tweeden shared her story on KABC in Los Angeles, stating that after Congresswoman Jackie Speier was on the show a few weeks ago, she decided to come out and share her story. Despite the photographic evidence, some in the media have still said that Tweeden’s account is “alleged.”
A YouTube user John Tomczak posted a video showing Sen. Franken giving a speech on the floor of the Senate in March of 2017 chastising Republicans for forcing sexual assault victims “into the dark.” Franken mentioned that at least 25% of women in the American workplace have experienced sexual harassment. He continued naming national news stories about harassment that were making headlines at the time, specifically that of former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.
Franken’s comments on the floor were meant to change his “Republican colleagues’” minds on a resolution related to government contractors and labor laws.
Franken’s exact words were:
So I urge my Republican colleagues, to reconsider their support for this resolution. I urge them not to force vulnerable women, who have been wronged, into the dark.
Tweeden told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she believes Franken’s apology was “heartfelt," but Tweeden also stated that she has been mad about this incident for ten years.
As Bethany Mandel noted on "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, it is often difficult for the victims of sexual assault and harassment to come forward because their names are dragged through the mud and their pasts investigated. That could be seen via social media comments saying Tweeden was a McCain and Romney supporter to “there’s nothing to see here” to ABC News doing a profile on her career.
Since Tweeden came forward, some Democrats have been slow to comment; one has to wonder if they are okay with sending their sitting senator’s victims “into the dark.”