A former Democratic Senate staffer has become the ninth woman to accuse former Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) of sexual misconduct.
The unnamed woman is a military veteran and former staffer for Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), and she leveled a groping accusation against Franken in a New York magazine report published Monday. She met Franken during a 2006 photo-op when he was first considering running for office.
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"He puts his hand on my ass. He’s telling the photographer, ‘Take another one. I think I blinked. Take another one.’ And I’m just frozen," the woman said. "It’s so violating. And then he gives me a little squeeze on my buttock, and I am bright red. I don’t say anything at the time, but I felt deeply, deeply uncomfortable."
Franken's actions, she said, shattered her confidence and her dream of one day running for office. She added that she burst into tears when the initial Franken allegations emerged and considered speaking up at the time. She chose not to after reflecting upon another incident in which her sexual harassment complaints went unheeded.
The newest accusation comes two days after the launch of Franken's SiriusXM radio show and two months after the New Yorker published an article by journalist Jane Mayer arguing that all eight of Franken's accusers were mistaken or lying. Seven Democratic senators told Mayer they regretted calling for Franken's resignation.
Franken first came under fire in 2017 when model Leeann Tweeden accused him of unwanted kissing during a 2006 USO tour, before he was a senator. Tweeden also produced a now-infamous photo of Franken pretending to grope her while she was sleeping during their comedy tour.