While the journalist who alleged Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) groped her in 2009 wasn’t impressed with the lawmaker’s resignation speech Thursday, she said it proves one thing: That Democrats are “being better on women” that Republicans.
“I thought he said to listen to women and then he talked about himself,” Tina Dupuy said on CNN Friday. “It wasn’t an apology. It was very defiant. … He was talking to the President. He said that it was ironic that someone like Roy Moore and Donald Trump are still in good standing. That’s not irony. That is one party being better on women than the other party.”
During his speech from the Senate floor on Thursday, Franken announced his resignation after weeks of mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against him, but pointed to the “irony” that someone like Trump, who has bragged on video about sexually assaulting women, and Moore, an accused child molester, can have good standing within their political parties.
“I think that’s a false equivalency, people have said to me, ‘Well he’s no Roy Moore’ and I say ‘Well, he’s no Charles Manson either, that’s not what I’m accusing him of,’” Dupuy said. “He calls himself a champion of women, but he does these things that says to the women that you have no ownership over your own body, that your comfort does not matter. That I can touch you and I can do whatever I want to do and it doesn’t matter.”
In an article in the Atlantic Wednesday, Dupuy detailed her account of Franken groping her when the two were at an inauguration party for former President Barack Obama in 2009. She said she asked Franken for a photo because “he was a hero” in 2009. “It was a big deal to have him there,” she said.
“He immediately put his hand on my waist, just grabbed a handful of flesh and squeezed a couple of times,” she said Friday. “What I didn’t put in the article was that I just quit smoking. I just gained 20 pounds. I was uncomfortable being in clothing, let alone having some lawmaker man-handle me.”
At least seven other women have come forward, alleging Franken forcibly kissed them or groped them without their consent in the past. Franken apologized to one woman and said he was sorry the others felt disrespected, but combatted their stories.
While Dupuy didn’t answer questions about whether Franken deserved to lose his career over the allegations, she said it was “important” that he “did not parade his victims in front of an Ethics Committee.”
“I think going through the Ethics Committee process for a victim is cruel,” she said.
She also said Democrats’ “original sin” was believing former President Bill Clinton over the women who accused him of misconduct.
“And we keep making that same mistake over and over again. And I believe with Al Franken, we have stopped doing that,” she said.