MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Two more women accused U.S. Sen. Al Franken Wednesday of sexual misconduct.
A woman, who was not identified, says Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, before he became a U.S. Senator.
Politico reports that a former Democratic congressional aide, whose identity is being withheld, says she had to duck to avoid Franken’s lips when she was attempting to follow her boss out of the studio.
She says that Franken said “it’s my right as an entertainer” as she was leaving the room.
The aide, who was in her mid-20s at the time, said she didn’t respond to Franken and had never met him prior to the incident.
Politico reports two former colleagues of the woman have independently corroborated her version of events.
A second woman, named Tina Dupuy, accused Franken Wednesday in an article in “The Atlantic” of groping her while taking a photo with her in 2009.
Dupuy, a writer and former Congressional communications director, said the incident happened during a party held by Media Matters in Washington, D.C. during President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
She says she decided to take a photo with Franken because her stepmother was a fan of his.
“We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh,” Dupuy said. “I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice.”
Franken denied the initial kissing allegation, but has not responded to Dupuy’s article. He released a statement in response to the accusation: “This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous. I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation.”
In November, Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden said Franken had put his tongue in her mouth during a 2006 USO tour, before he became senator. She also posted a photo of him with his hands above her chest as she slept wearing a flak vest aboard a military plane. Franken, 66, has apologized.
Another woman, Lindsay Menz, said he’d squeezed her buttocks in 2010 while posing for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair. Franken, by then a senator, said he didn’t remember the picture but expressed remorse that Menz felt “disrespected.”
In a story published by the Huffington Post, two more women alleged that Franken touched their buttocks during campaign events in 2007 and 2008.
Franken came to the Senate after a months-long recount gave him a 312-vote victory in his 2008 election. He immediately distanced himself from his decades of professional comedy, which included off-color jokes about rape and disparaging women, and avoided national reporters.
Meanwhile, the Senate Ethics Committee is investigating allegations.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)