Trump Slams Al Franken for “Really Bad” Groping Photo, Remains Silent on Roy Moore

The president has been dogged by his own sexual harassment allegations.

Ting Shen/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

President Donald Trump, who faced a long string of sexual harassment allegations during the 2016 election, swiftly denounced Sen. Al Franken less than one day after a woman accused the senator of forcibly kissing and groping her in 2006. 

Trump’s Thursday tweets came amid his deafening silence regarding Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, more than a week after the Washington Post first published multiple accounts from women who say when they were teenagers they were sexually assaulted or pursued by Moore while he was in his 30s.

On Thursday morning, broadcaster Leeann Tweeden published a story accusing Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her during a 2006 USO tour the two performed in together. She also provided a photo that showed a smiling Franken reaching to grab her breasts while she was asleep on a plane. 

In his tweets, Trump focused on the photographic evidence against Franken, suggesting that perhaps worse photos exist. Critics seized on the moment to bring up the infamous Access Hollywood recording that captured Trump in 2005 bragging about forcibly grabbing a woman’s “pussy.”

After initially issuing a brief statement apologizing for the incident, Franken on Thursday later released a longer statement saying that he respected women and that he was “disgusted” with himself over the photo.

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” he wrote. “I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.”

Trump has resisted pressure to denounce Moore, even as more women have come forward to the Post and other outlets with similar accounts. As for his own charges of sexual assault, Trump has vigorously denied every one of them.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate