Trump Reacts to Al Franken Harassment Claim: "Picture Is Really Bad"

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Al Franken

The president, who himself has been accused by over a dozen women of sexual misconduct, jumped into the scandal surrounding the senator from Minnesota.

In a pair of tweets, President Donald Trump waded into the sexual-harassment scandal surrounding Sen. Al Franken on Thursday.

Leeann Tweeden, a TV host and sports broadcaster, came forward earlier in the day to allege that Franken had kissed and groped her without her consent in an incident in 2006, during a USO tour to entertain troops in the Middle East. A picture of Franken groping Tweeden, apparently in jest, while she was asleep has been played on loop on cable news.

Franken apologized and called for an ethics investigation into his own conduct.

The revelation led to widespread criticism of Franken from both sides of the political spectrum, and Trump wasted no time in piling on against one of his harshest critics in Washington, whom he described as "Al Frankenstien (sic)".

The president tweeted that the "picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words" and leads to questions of where Franken's "hands go" in other possible pictures. In a follow-up tweet, Trump claimed Franken has been hypocritical for "lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women." Trump also asked about a "Lesley Stahl tape" in reference to a 1995 New York magazine article in which Franken talked about how he had pitched an SNL skit in which he raped Lesley Stahl.

Trump's tweets slamming Franken come despite the president facing dozens of sexual-misconduct allegations of his own, as well as the notorious Access Hollywood tape in which he brags about committing assault. Prior to the 2016 election, Newsweek listed that Trump was accused by at least 16 women of sexual harassment and assault. The president has repeatedly brushed off the allegations as "fake news."

Trump has also notably stayed silent about the scandal surrounding Roy Moore, the GOP candidate for the open Alabama Senate seat who has been accused of pursuing, harassing and, in some cases, assaulting teenage girls.