Home / U.S. / The accusers of Al Franken respond to his resignation announcement: "I expected him to come and share the truth"

The accusers of Al Franken respond to his resignation announcement: "I expected him to come and share the truth"



Two women who filed allegations that Minnesota Senator Al Franken groped for them, said their announcement of resignation in the Senate plenary on Thursday did not fully address the specific accusations against them.

"People have asked me, 'Do you feel relieved' [now that he has resigned]?" Leeann Tweeden said in an interview with "Nightline". "I said: No, I do not know if I'll ever feel good."

Eight women have spoken publicly detailing different alleged incidents when the now Democratic legislator fumbled or tried to kiss them, including Tweeden and Lindsay Menz, the mother of three daughters.

  Leeann Tweeden is seen here during a press conference. ABC News
Leeann Tweeden is seen here during a press conference.

"I definitely wanted more answers today," Menz told "Nightline." "I expected him to come and share the truth, share what he had experienced, you know, give us some kind of resolution on the situation, and I do not feel there is a resolution for the situation today."

Menz accused Franken of fondling her while posing for a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. She is the only one of the eight accusers to claim that an alleged incident occurred while Franken was serving as a senator.

"I felt that I was really going to talk about the accusations against him," Menz said. "I felt like I was going to share his point of view, I felt like I was going to say, you know, I did these things, and I'm sorry for doing these things, I should not have done them." , completely renounce them, because you have not completely renounced them. "

  Lindsay Menz is seen here during an interview with Nightline. ABC News
Lindsay Menz is seen here during an interview with "Nightline".

Franken announced on Thursday that he will resign from the United States Senate "in the coming weeks," a day after several of his Democratic colleagues asked him to step down amid growing accusations of sexual misconduct against women.

"Today I announce that, in the coming weeks, I will resign as a member of the United States Senate," Franken said in the Senate plenary on Thursday. "It is clear that I can not follow the Ethics Committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for [the people of Minnesota]."

"All women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously," he continued. "Some of the accusations against me are simply not true, others I remember in a very different way."

The accusations against Franken began less than three weeks ago. Tweeden, a radio presenter from Los Angeles, was the first woman to file complaints of impropriety. He claimed that Franken groped for her while sleeping in a military plane on his way home from an USO tour in 2006. The alleged incident was captured in a photograph. She also claimed that he kissed her by force when they were practicing together a performance for the troops abroad.

"I think my voice was heard," Tweeden said.

  PHOTOGRAPH: Leeann Tweeden posted this online photo that she said was taken while she was sleeping on a return flight from a 2006 USO trip. She says it shows the then comedian Al Franken, who is now a US senator , that the palpa. Leeann Tweeden / KABC
Leeann Tweeden posted this online photo that says it was taken while sleeping on a return flight from a 2006 USO trip. She says it shows the then comedian Al Franken, who is now a senator from I know. UU., Groping.

Although Franken apologized – Tweeden said he received three apologies from the senator – and acknowledged having acted wrong and asked for an ethical investigation to be started, he resisted the initial calls for his resignation, even after additional allegations surfaced. bad behavior. Franken has issued several statements in which he apologizes and says he does not remember other alleged incidents or remember them differently.

The turning point seemed to come on Wednesday, when Sens Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y .; Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo .; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H .; Patty Murray, D-Wash .; and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked Franken to resign.

"A couple of months ago, I felt we had entered an important moment in the history of this country," Franken said in his announcement. "We were finally starting to listen to women about the ways men's actions affected them." The moment had come a long time ago, he was excited by that conversation and hoping that it would lead to a real change that would improve the life of women throughout the country, and in every part of our society, then the conversation was directed to me, in the last few weeks, several women have come to talk about how they felt that my actions had affected them. . I was upset ".

  PHOTO: Senator Al Franken listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on September 20, 2017 in Washington. Alex Brandon / AP, FILE
Sen. Al Franken listens during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, on September 20, 2017 in Washington.

Tweeden, a mother of two, said she did not ask for Franken's resignation when she presented her allegations, but that her announcement today made her feel "some kind of validation."

"It does not make me feel good but I would use that word," Tweeden added.

Menz said he decided to introduce himself after learning about Tweeden's story and said he hopes to share his story will help change the culture. She said she felt sorry that Franken had to resign.

"Instead of being able to make mistakes and go ahead and do things right, you have to give up," he said. "I feel sad for having to leave work for the actions he has undertaken, but it is unfortunate that he has left a trail of women in his path who have had bad interactions with him."

ABC News & # 39; Candace Smith and Meghan Keneally contributed to this report


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