Tweeden has said that Franken forced himself on her, shoving his tongue down her throat during a rehearsal.
Franken's first statement indicated that he believes the skit rehearsal went differently: "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann".
The picture shows Tweeden apparently asleep while wearing a helmet and military vest, and Franken looking at the camera while appearing to place his hands on her breasts. His office released a statement saying the photo was meant to be amusing, though he also offered his apologies.
On Thursday, Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden accused Minnesota Sen. When the time came for the kiss, Franken allegedly put his hand on the back of Tweeden's head, pressed their lips together, and stuck his tongue in her mouth. Backstage, Franken repeatedly insisted that he and Tweeden needed to rehearse part of the act that involved them kissing. A copy of the photo is posted with the article.
Democrats are piling on him today, both inside Congress and among the liberal commentariat, not wanting to lose the advantage they momentarily enjoy over Roy Moore and, potentially, Trump. "Then she reached down and started rubbing my crotch and within just five or ten minutes, my cock was again hard and ready for action". He later released another statement in which he called for an ethics investigation into his own behavior.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the allegations "troubling" and said he hopes and expects that the Senate Ethics Committee will investigate. "At that moment, I thought to myself, Al Franken did that exact same thing to me".
"The allegations are serious, we need to take them seriously and I support an ethics investigation". "Coming from the world of comedy, I've told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were amusing but later came to realize were just plain offensive". She recalled agreeing "so he would stop badgering me". It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate.
"There's no reason why I shouldn't accept his apology", she said, adding later that Franken had an opportunity to apologize a couple years after the 2006 tour when she encountered her at a USO gala.
"People make mistakes. I'm not calling for him to step down".
"To say I was sorry for writing a joke was to sell out my career, to sell out who I'd been my entire life", Franken said. Franken also called for an ethics investigation.
Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the highest-ranking woman in the Democratic Senate leadership said Franken's apology "doesn't reverse what he's done or end the matter". Harassment and assault, he says, are completely unacceptable in the workplace or anywhere else.