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News Anchor: Al Franken groped me while I slept - forced his tongue into my mouth - during 2006 USO tour
And there's a photo.
Of all the (seemingly innumerable) accusations of assault that have emerged in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, none have come with photographic evidence. That may no longer be the case. A new accusation, levelled against Senator Al Franken (D-MN) by KABC news anchor Leeann Tweeden, alleges that the Senator forcibly kissed the model-turned-broadcaster and groped her while she slept. The incident occurred during a 2006 USO tour and - unlike other accusations - there's a picture.
Not a good look, senator pic.twitter.com/p2yEGrC5jS— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 16, 2017
Al Franken is, undoubtedly, going to try and write this off as a joke. He'll say it was tasteless, he'll offer the standard "if I offended" apology, and he'll try to act like nothing major happened. However, the photo isn't the worst of this story.
The uglier stuff is related to the USO show itself. Originally, Tweeden was hired only to emcee the performance, but Franken decided to write her a part. The part contained a kiss and, according to Tweeden, that's when things got uncomfortable.
When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.
On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’
He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.
He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he 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.
I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.
I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.
I felt disgusted and violated.
Tweeden says she went through with the show, and told no one what happened, adding "At the time I didn’t want to cause trouble. We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our Holiday tour, I was a professional, and I could take care of myself."
The photograph came later.
The tour wrapped and on Christmas Eve we began the 36-hour trip home to L.A. After 2 weeks of grueling travel and performing I was exhausted. When our C-17 cargo plane took off from Afghanistan I immediately fell asleep, even though I was still wearing my flak vest and Kevlar helmet.
It wasn’t until I was back in the US and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw this one:
I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.
I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.
How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?
I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.
You can read Tweeden's entire account here. As you do, remember that you're not allowed to doubt it. As I said above, Franken is going to claim the photo is a joke. It may well have been intended as such. However, according to the rules established by the left, whether or not it was a joke doesn't matter.
Franken has now been accused. Progressives, people like Franken, spent decades telling you that no matter how far into the distant past an accusation stretches, no matter how nebulous the content of that accusation may be, the accuser must be believed.
Here we have an accusation that comes from an incident not 30 or 40 years in the past, but 10. It's an incident that appears to be corroborated by photographic evidence. Since the left is all about believing victims, will they stand together and denounce Franken? Will they demand he step down?
Will they have the courage to live by their own, newly self-applied, standard?