Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post and a longtime associate of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, was not pleased by the way the New York Post's Page Six promoted photos from a joint 2000 magazine photoshoot.
The headline on the story was "Newly surfaced pics show Al Franken grabbing Arianna Huffington’s breasts and butt." The story quoted an unnamed source from the shoot, who said: "He was groping her. There was some fun attached to it, but she wasn’t enjoying it. She definitely told him to stop and pushed him away.”
On Twitter, Huffington strongly pushed back on this characterization. "I think I’m a better judge of how I felt in that satirical photo shoot with Al Franken than the recollections of an anonymous bystander," she wrote Tuesday morning. "I thought the point of this moment was to believe women’s accounts of their own experiences."
Huffington also spoke to the Post and said that it's "truly absurd" for the photos to be interpreted as being inappropriate. She said she's friends with Franken and his wife, and that the concept for the shoot was based on a bit she did with Franken for Bill Maher's one-time show Politically Incorrect.
Franken is under fire after being accused by two women of inappropriate touching — one incident occurred before he was elected senator, and one occurred after, at a state fair in Minnesota.
The story has been seized on by prominent figures in the alt-right movement, including Jack Posobiec, who said that Franken should resign, and Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson, who shared the story on Twitter and wrote: "While some throw up a peace sign or do a thumbs up, Al Franken's photo gimmick for about 10 years appears to have been groping women."