With four separate women accusing Al Franken (D-MN) of groping them, the defiant U.S. senator went underground for the long weekend only to sit down for two disastrous interviews Monday morning.
In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, when asked if additional women will come forward with accusations of groping, Franken admits, “I don’t know. I can’t say.”
In a second interview with WCCO, when asked if he ever groped a woman’s butt, Franken admitted, “I can’t say I haven’t done that.”
“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,” WOCO’s Esme Murphy asked.
“I can understand how some people would see it that way,” Franken replied.
“But have you ever placed a hand on some woman’s butt?”
“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 admitted.
Nevertheless, Franken refuses to even consider resigning, and when asked about stepping down, he dutifully refers to a senate ethics committee looking into this.
What exactly the ethics committee will need to look into when there is a photo of Franken clearly groping Leeann Tweeden’s chest while she is asleep, Franken doesn’t explain. Also inexplicable is what the ethics committee is supposed to make of the fact that Franken does not deny groping the butts of three other women, all of whom claiming they were grabbed while Franken was either a senator or running for the senate.
Franken appears to have spent much of his Thanksgiving holiday with handlers attempting to figure out a way to deny the accusations without calling his accusers liars.
“Are they mistaken that there butt was grabbed? Is that what you are saying?”
“I am not saying that,” Franken told WOCO, and then adds, “I don’t remember. As I say, I take thousands of photos. I don’t remember these particular photos.”
Franken then tried to water down the allegations with this spin: “If you had told me two weeks ago that any woman was going to come forward claiming I disrespected her, I would have said no.”
Murphy was having none of that.
“I don’t think any of them are using that word,” she fired back, referring to the word “disrespect.” “That’s your word. Leeann Tweeden said you forcibly–”
At this point Franken interrupted to talk over the allegation that he “forcibly kissed her,” an allegation Franken denies.
Murphy continued on, “They’re not using the word ‘disrespect.’ I think some people are looking at that word and saying ‘no.’ Lindsay Menz says you ‘molested’ her … I think these women feel it goes way beyond disrespect.”
Franken went back to his talking points, “I understand that. I have a different recollection.”
Two of the accusers claim they were groped at campaign events in support of Franken.