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- A reporter tweeted that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said reporters should “find something more interesting” when he was asked about the sexual misconduct allegations against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.
- The reporter later clarified that Whitehouse’s comments came before he was asked about Franken.
- Franken is under intense scrutiny after a Los Angeles broadcaster, Leeann Tweeden, alleged that he kissed and groped her without her consent during a 2006 United Service Organizations tour in Iraq.
A reporter’s tweet caused a minor stir Thursday amid sexual harassmennt allegations levied against Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota.
The ABC News reporter tweeted that Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island said reporters needed to “find something more interesting” when they asked him about the allegations against Franken. She later corrected her tweet, saying his remarks came before he was asked about Franken.
Franken is under intense scrutiny after a Los Angeles broadcaster, Leeann Tweeden, alleged that he kissed and groped her without her consent during a 2006 United Service Organizations tour in Iraq. Her column detailing the incident was complete with a photograph of Franken reaching for her breasts while she was asleep.
Franken, in a statement, said he “shouldn’t have done it.”
“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” he wrote. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
In a subsequent statement, Franken offered a more in-depth apology.
“Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive,” he said. “But the intentions behind my actions aren’t the point at all. It’s the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come to terms with that.
“I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate. And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”