Leeann Tweeden: Al Franken’s Fate Is ‘For The People Of Minnesota To Decide’

Leeann Tweeden, the LA radio host who came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) Thursday, said she didn’t share her story to lead Franken to resign from Congress.

“That’s not my call. I didn’t do this to have him step down. I think Al Franken does a lot of good things in the Senate, you know, I think that’s for the people of Minnesota to decide,” Tweeden said on Good Morning America Friday. “I’m not calling for him to step down, that was never my intention. … I just wanted him to understand what he did was wrong.”

Tweeden went public with her story of alleged sexual misconduct on Thursday, claiming Franken “aggressively” kissed her while they were rehearsing for an USO tour in 2006 and allegedly groped her while she was sleeping. Franken initially apologized and disputed parts of her claims, but put out a statement later Thursday asking for Congress to conduct an ethics probe into the allegations against him. The alleged incidents occurred before Franken held public office.

Tweeden said Thursday she accepted Franken’s apology and thanked him for his sincere reaction. On Friday she said she came forward because she wanted to contribute to changing the culture that looks at sexual harassment and assault as a joke.

“How he treated me and how abusers, who, I think, do that under the guise that it’s funny or that ‘I can get away with it because I’m a comedian’ and ‘it was funny,’” she said. “It’s never funny, but when you shine a light and go ‘that’s the culture, that the change that we need to make’ and go ‘that’s never funny,’ but people have gotten away with that forever.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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