Today, radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden revealed that Senator Al Franken (D-MN) “kissed and groped” her “without [her] consent” during a USO tour in Afghanistan in 2006.
Less than two weeks ago, at the Missouri Democratic Party’s Truman Dinner on November 4, 2017 — the Party’s largest fundraising event of the year — Sen. Claire McCaskill introduced Franken with effusive praise — including for the USO tours he has taken, stating that he had crisscrossed the state in “a very, very successful day of fundraising on the campaign because of this man and his heart.”
“It is deeply disturbing that just two weeks ago, Senator McCaskill was praising the ‘heart’ and character of Al Franken, who now stands credibly accused of sexual assault,” said Brian Rogers, Executive Director of Missouri Rising Action. “At the very least, both Senator McCaskill and the Missouri Democratic Party have a responsibility to return all of the money raised during Franken’s fundraising trip to the state earlier this month.”
Exclusive tracking video of McCaskill’s speech — which ends with a hug — and a transcript are below:
“He is famous. He’s a star. The kind of career in entertainment that many Americans dream of. But he wanted to serve. He had done many USO tours in Iraq, in Afghanistan, Bosnia, but they were simply not enough. He wanted to do more. He wanted to speak louder, especially for those folks who don’t have a voice. So, Al became a United States Senator.
“And while many Americans may still think of Al Franken as a talented comedian when they see him. I can assure you that that is not what Al Franken is today. I have a front row seat where I have gotten to know this man. I have gotten to observe him in moments of crisis, in moments of pressure, in moments that really matter. I have watched his work on behalf of the underdog in America. His preparation, his work ethic, his intellect, and his tenacity. He has a great talent all right. His talent is knowing the right question to ask in the right way at the right time. He knows how to shine the brightest light on wrongdoing and malfeasance. He is a truth seeker and no one in the senate does it better. His wit and humor in the cloakroom may be a welcome distraction for us on nights that we’re voting through the wee hours of the morning. But don’t mistake his wit and humor as any substitute for his heart.
“He agreed to come to Missouri tonight to help us. But he also agreed to work all day long, helping us raise money for my campaign, crisscrossing the state. And after Joseph had his heart attack, Al insisted, in the most un-selfish way possible, of doing all of that today without me by his side. It was Al. Working KCI and Lambert. Flying back and forth. Doing events. And we had a very, very successful day of fundraising on the campaign because of this man and his heart. This room is full of so many of my dear friends. And I consider it the best part of my work, that I get a chance to get to know so many of you well and have that bond of friendship. But I will tell you, all the friendship in this room is also reflected in how I feel about the man who is here tonight to motivate us, to make us understand that we’re not done in Missouri as Democrats. We’re just getting started. Please welcome my friend, Al Franken.”