ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Minnesota’s senior Sen. Amy Klobuchar says “this should not have happened to Leeann Tweeden,” and condemned the behavior a radio host has accused Sen. Al Franken of engaging in a decade ago.
“I strongly condemn this behavior and the Senate Ethics Committee must open an investigation. This is another example of why we need to change work environments and reporting practices across the nation, including in Congress.”
Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum is joining those asking for a ethics committee investigation into the allegations directed at Sen. Al Franken.
“The Senate Ethics Committee should conduct a formal inquiry into the disturbing allegations made against Senator Franken. The account and photo released today can only be described as completely inappropriate,” McCollum said.
Gov. Mark Dayton also issued a statement: “I was shocked to hear these reports this morning. I will defer to the US Senate Ethics Committee to investigate and act on this matter. I know from serving in the Senate that the Committee has a well-established and highly-respected process for reviewing situations like this and making the right decisions.”
Jennifer Carnahan, chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, is calling on Franken to resign.
“When you look at what’s gone on in the entertainment industry with Kevin Spacey, the allegations coming out about him with Harvey Weinstein. There’s been quick and decisive action,” Carnahan said. “When you see these things happening in politics, the issue is around sexual harassment and harassment, there should just be no tolerance for it.”
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says the allegations against fellow Democratic Sen. Franken are “disturbing” and should be investigated.
Gillibrand made the comments after a Los Angeles radio anchor accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour and of posing for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept. Franken has apologized.
Gillibrand has been outspoken about sexual harassment in the military. She stopped short of saying Franken should step aside. She said Franken’s explanation that he was joking was insufficient.
Other Democrats say they takes the allegations seriously. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth says, “I believe her, and if there’s an ethics investigation, that should move forward as well.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated. “I hope and expect that the Ethics Committee will fully investigate this troubling incident, as they should with any credible allegation of sexual harassment.”
Sen. Claire McCaskill said: “I’m shocked and concerned. The behavior described is completely unacceptable. Comedy is no excuse for inappropriate conduct, and I believe there should be an ethics investigation.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)