Al Franken on Whether He’s Ever Groped a Woman’s Butt: ‘I Can’t Say I Haven’t’ Done That’
Sen. Al Franken, who is currently plagued by a number of sexual misconduct accusations, received a tough grilling in a 30-minute interview with WCCO on whether he has ever grabbed a woman’s backside.
In the first television interview since four women accused the Minnesota senator of sexual misconduct, Franken apologized and said he was “embarrassed and ashamed of some of what has come out.”
When confronted by WCCO’s Esme Murphy about Leanne Tweeden’s allegation that he forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in 2006, Franken said he “had a different recollection of the kiss.”
“My recollection is different than hers. I apologized to her and meant it and she was gracious enough to accept my apology,” Franken said.
With regards to the picture of Franken groping Tweeden’s chest as she slept, the senator said that “was inexcusable and that is what I am most ashamed for.”
In the interview Murphy tried to hold Franken down on several other allegations that he grabbed women’s buttocks while posing for photos, asking if the women are mistaken that he groped them.
“I am not saying that,” Franken replied. “As I said, I take thousands of photos. I don’t remember these particular photos.”
“With all due respect, people are going to find it hard to believe that someone such as yourself wouldn’t know that they were grabbing someone’s butt,” Murphy shot back.
“I can understand how some people would see it that way,” Franken said.
“But have you ever placed a hand on some woman’s butt?” Murphy asked.
“I can’t say that it hasn’t happened. In crowded chaotic situations, I can’t say I haven’t done that. I am very sorry if these women experienced that,” Franken conceded.
Franken also told Murphy that he does not intend to step down from the Senate, and will return to his office on Monday.
“I think I can win back the respect of the people of Minnesota and I understand I have a long way to go,” Franken said.
Watch above, via WCCO.
[image via screengrab]
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