Donald Trump Receives Backlash for Mocking Al Franken Over Groping Allegations

President Donald Trump received backlash for mocking Al Franken on Twitter after broadcaster Leeann Tweeden accused the Minnesota senator of kissing and groping her without consent.

“The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words,” Trump, 71, tweeted late Thursday, November 16, referring to a photo that appears to show Franken, 66, grabbing Tweeden’s breasts during a 2006 military tour to the Middle East and Afghanistan. “Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?”

Donald Trump Al Franken
Donald Trump and Al Franken. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images; Cindy Ord/Getty Images

In a follow-up tweet, the real estate mogul added, “And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?” (In a 1995 interview, Franken discussed a purported Saturday Night Live skit that involved drugging and raping the journalist.)

Social media users were quick to condemn Trump for his tweets about the comedian. Many people slammed him for staying silent on the mounting sexual abuse allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has denied any wrongdoing. Others pointed out that Trump himself has been dogged by misconduct accusations. He was caught bragging in a 2005 Access Hollywood video about kissing women and grabbing them “by the p–sy.” The tape was released in October 2016, and Trump brushed off the remarks as “locker-room banter.”

“Seriously you have room to talk about Al Franken? I think he needs to resign, period. There’s no room for that garbage … Who are you to discuss Al Franken? 10+ women have accused you of the same or worse,” one Twitter user wrote. Another echoed, “If u think Franken should resign then you should also call for Trump to resign. Amazing amt of outrage over Franken from Trump supporters.”

A third tweeter wrote, “Only Donald Trump could think that the appropriate response to the Al Franken situation is to call him ‘Al Frankenstein’ and then misspell ‘Frankenstein.’” Author Stephen King, who has been vocal on Twitter about his opposition of Trump, wrote, “Trump on Franken: Pot discusses sins of the kettle.”

As previously reported, Tweeden, a Los Angeles sportscaster, claimed in a blog post for the radio station KABC on Thursday that the senator “mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth” during their USO tour. Later that year, she found the photo of him touching her breasts. “He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” she wrote. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?”

Franken apologized shortly after she came forward. “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t,” he said in a statement. “And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed. … I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.”

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