Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has fallen from being a “Democratic darling to dirty old man” with the photographic evidence that he groped a young woman during a USO tour in 2006, an image that the ex-comedian claimed was intended as a “joke.”
Others haven’t seen it that way, and there’s evidence that Franken long has categorized sex and assault in the category of humor.
The image was released by radio talk show host LeeAnn Tweeden, who was with Franken on a USO tour before he became a senator in an election likely tainted by the votes of convicted criminals. She claimed he forcibly kissed her, stuck his tongue into her mouth and badgered her for days during the tour. Then, she said, then left the parting gift of an image of the groping, taken while she slept en route home from the tour.
Newsweek compiled a list of Franken statements, including when he “once joked about child rape during a comedic roast of film director Rob Reiner.”
Franken, the magazine said, “laid out a scene where Reiner’s father, Carl, would invite famous friends over to rape his son.”
At that time, Franken quipped: “On a typical night, Carl would slip into Rob’s bed, roll him over, swab him down and say something like, ‘I’m thinking about hiring Morey Amsterdam to play Buddy Sorrell, what do you think?’ Well, the success of The Dick Van Dyke Show changed things dramatically. Carl started inviting many of his famous friends to —- his son. That list includes some of the greats in comedy: Paul Lynde, Dom DeLuise, Rip Taylor, Danny Kaye, Charles Nelson Reilly and Rock Hudson – whom I frankly don’t think is that funny.”
The report said Franken also “joked” about raping “60 Minutes” reporter Lesley Stahl.
“And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.'”
He also “joked” in Playboy about “creating an Institute for Pornographic Studies where he performed sex acts with humans and robots,” the Newsweek report said.
“I found myself extremely attracted to the vulnerable side of this sexy scientist, and when I offered to comfort her, she accepted, kissing me full on the lips and inserting her tongue into my mouth and moving it around suggestively,” Franken wrote.
He then describes sex acts in detail.
After the Tweeden image was released, a second allegation against Franken arose.
The Media Equalizer reported its co-founder, Melanie Morgan, claimed Franken threatened and harassed her.
“Morgan’s disturbing encounter was sparked by daring to disagree with Franken during an August 2000 edition of ABC’s ‘Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,'” the organization reported.
She was on the show with Franken, William Baldwin and then-Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers.
“I made a statement about the budget numbers, Franken challenged me, I challenged him back. It was about spending priorities, actually just a mundane discussion. But he obsessed over it,” Morgan said.
After the show, Morgan said, Franken wouldn’t leave her alone, insisting on continuing the argument.
“He approached me backstage, angrily called me out on those numbers and insisted he would prove he was right. He wouldn’t leave me alone, he kept following me. As a woman, his presence and proximity to me felt very threatening and intimidating. I didn’t realize his creepy behavior after the show meant it would continue in the days to come.”
She said Franken got her home number and called her, leaving her “fearful.”
“By the third phone call I was outraged and terrified, as he is really disturbed,” Morgan recounted.
In the book “Pants on Fire, How Al Franken Lies, Deceives and Smears,” author Alan Skorski explains that Franken’s fame came from his books “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot” and “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.”
According to Skorski’s book, Franken’s nonstop “smears” were surprisingly unchallenged for a long time while he was a commentator and radio talk -show host.
But eventually, Skorski found that Franken himself “regularly lies, smears and distorts what others say and do.”
It was the London Daily Mail that reported the senator’s action, which left Tweeden feeling “belittled and humiliated,” pushed Franken over the edge from “Democratic darling to dirty old man.”
Franken now faces calls for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.
He apologized to Tweeden for his behavior, but President Trump took to Twitter to point out: “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?”
Franken responded after the image became public: “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t.”
WND reported when Franken won his first election, by a razor-thin 312 votes in Minnesota, that he actually may not have won.
Dan McGrath of Minnesota Majority said his group’s investigation found incumbent Norm Coleman had more votes at the end of the polling, but Franken was given the seat after a recount.
According to records, however, at least 341 convicted felons voted in Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is located, and another 52 voted illegally in Ramsey County, home to St. Paul.
“The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeds … Franken’s victory margin,” according to the analysis.
In Franken’s second election, he edged out challenger Mike McFadden after Barack Obama’s unpopularity as president threatened the Democratic hold on the seat.
WND reported the Minnesota secretary of state, Mark Ritchie, who oversaw the senatorial recount that put Franken into office, was listed by the Communist Party USA as an official “friend.”
That followed WND’s earlier report that Ritchie was funded – and apparently continues to be supported – by prominent leaders of the radical left.
Among Franken’s campaign donors were members of the Democratic Socialists of America, founders of the socialist New Party; members of the Communist Party USA, or CPUSA; and even a former associate of the Weatherman domestic terrorist group founded by Bill Ayers.
Personalities from several George Soros-funded think tanks and the terrorist-supporting Code Pink also were on Ritchie’s donor list.
The Washington Post reported a Minnesota woman who had been working with Franken on legislation was raped by a man who had worked in Franken’s office.
The rapist, Daniel Drill-Mellum, pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct and was given six years in prison.
The victim said Thursday she no longer wants Franken’s name on the legislation when it is introduced and hopes to find someone else to sponsor it.
CNN noted other Democratic senators have criticized Franken since Tweeden’s revelations.
“Never acceptable and must not be tolerated,” is how Chuck Schumer of New York described sexual harassment.
Illinois’ Dick Durbin: “Never an excuse.”
Washington’s Patty Murray: “Extremely disappointing.”
Kirsten Gillibrand, New York,: “The allegations are very troubling.”
Claire McCaskill, Missouri: “I’m shocked and concerned.”
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh pointed out the facts about Franken are “gumming up” Democratic efforts to kill the Senate campaign of Roy Moore in Alabama and remove Trump from office.
“What are the Democrats going to do? Seriously. What are the Democrats going to do? They’re trying to get rid of two Republicans, and here comes this big hypocrite, Al Franken, totally gumming up the works, totally screwing up the plan.
“I mean, they want to get rid of Roy Moore, and they want to use that to get rid of Donald Trump, and here comes Franken, and there’s an actual picture of Franken doing it. The woman is sleeping and she’s wearing, you know, camo gear on a C-17 on the way back from a USO tour.”
He continued: “If they give Franken a pass, how do they continue to go after Roy Moore? Not that they couldn’t do it. Hypocrisy has a tough time attaching itself to these people, but they’ve got a problem, because they’ve got many, many eggs in this sexual harassment basket that they are using to get rid of people they don’t want.”