- 17 Nov 17
The US President has taken to Twitter to attack Senator Al Franken for taking a disturbing photo of himself groping a broadcaster while she was fast asleep on a military airplane!
Trump tweeted: "The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? …”
The US Senator, whom many of you might remember actually used to be a comedian, was also accused by the sports broadcaster and former Playboy model of trying to forcibly kiss her against her will.
— Leeann Tweeden (@LeeannTweeden) November 16, 2017
But this is certainly no laughing matter for the ex-comedian who has literally been caught red handed.
Leeann Tweeden posted the allegations and the above photo yesterday on her radio station KABC's website. "How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?" she says.
Tweeden last famously hit the headlines when she bravely posed as an older, mature woman, at the age of 38, for Playboy, looking stunning in the photos.
The disgusting incident involving the Senator occurred while the two of them were overseas to entertain US Army troops in a war zone.
Explaining how the bizarre photo was taken, she said yesterday: "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.
"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.
"I wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone to anyone who would listen, but even as angry as I was, I was worried about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster. But that was then, this is now. I’m no longer afraid."
She added: "Every time I see him now, my hands clench into fists.”
Franklin, who was once being tipped as a serious candidate for the White House, offered a public apology yesterday.
In his lengthy apology posted yesterday on Facebook, the Senator tried to downplay the photo as a bad joke.
"Coming from the world of comedy, I've told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive," he writes. "But the intentions behind my actions aren't the point at all. It's the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come to terms with that."
Tweeden is refusing to accept his apology and his calling on him to fall on his own sword.
She also recounted yesterday a story about how he tried to forcibly kiss her while the two of them were in rehearsals for a comedy skit to entertain the US troops.
"He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss," she wrote. "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. Not long after, I performed the skit as written, carefully turning my head so he couldn’t kiss me on the lips.
"No one saw what happened backstage. I didn’t tell the Sergeant Major of the Army, who was the sponsor of the tour. I didn’t tell our USO rep what happened."
The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? .....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
Here's the Senator's apology in full: "The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There's more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it's the only thing you care to hear, that's fine—is: I'm sorry.
"I respect women. I don't respect men who don't. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.
"But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women.
"For instance, that picture. I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter. There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what's more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me."
He added: "Coming from the world of comedy, I've told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren't the point at all. It's the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come to terms with that.
"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.
"I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.
"And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them."