New groping allegation against US Senator Al Franken
SAUL LOEB (AFP)
A second woman has said she was groped by US Senator Al Franken, who is already facing a potential ethics investigation over an earlier allegation, CNN reported on Monday.
Lindsay Menz said she took a photograph with the senator at a fair in Minnesota in 2010, and that Franken "pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear."
Franken told the channel that he did not remember taking the photo with Menz, and that he felt "badly that Ms Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."
Sports broadcaster and former model Leeann Tweeden had previously accused the former comedian of touching her while she slept and kissing her without her consent in 2006 -- the latest in a string of sexual assault allegations against prominent American men.
During rehearsals for the comedy turn on the Saturday Night Live Show, Tweeden said Franken "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."
Last week Franken issued an apology statement to Tweeden stating that, "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann."
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to hit out at Senator Al Franken and said,"and to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women."
Franken's rise from funnyman to darling of the political left has been thrown into doubt by the allegations and the likely opening of a Senate ethics investigation that could see him fined, stripped of committee posts or even expelled.
Mitch McConnell who has called for the chamber's Ethics Committee to review the matter said, "regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable -- in the workplace or anywhere else."
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