WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump quickly condemned Democratic Sen. Al Franken late Thursday after a woman said he once groped her, but the president still hasn’t judged accusations of past sexual misconduct by Alabama Republican senate candidate Roy Moore.
Trump, who has called the more than a dozen women who accused him of improper sexual actions liars, tweeted about a photo released Thursday by Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden that shows Franken holding his hands over her breasts during a 2006 USO tour.
“The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps,” the president tweeted, misspelling the name of the legendary monster Frankenstein.
“And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women,” Trump added.
Trump has not condemned Moore after several women accused the Senate candidate from Alabama of improper sexual behavior toward them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Trump has said that if the sexual misconduct allegations are proven true, Moore should quit the race.
Trump faced allegations of sexual harassment and behavior by more than a dozen women last year and boasted about kissing women without consent and grabbing them by their genitals in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape made public in October 2016.
Trump later called those remarks “locker-room banter,” and said, “I apologize if anyone was offended.”
Asked if it’s fair to investigate Franken and the allegation against him, wouldn’t it also be fair to investigate Trump and the sexual misconduct accusations against him, Huckabee said no.
The public rendered their verdict in November on those sexual misconduct allegations against Trump. “The American people, I think, spoke pretty loud and clear when they elected him president,” she said.
And what’s different, she said, is that “Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing, and the president hasn’t. I think that’s a very clear distinction.”
Moore has denied the accusations against him, including one by a woman who told The Washington Post that he initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called on Moore to withdraw from the special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Session’s former Senate seat. Moore has vowed to stay in the race.
Huckabee Sanders on Friday again said Trump thinks the allegations against Moore are “very troubling” but that the people of Alabama should decide who their next senator should be. She said Trump agreed with the Republican National Committee’s ending of funding for Moore.
Several women have come forward with their stories of powerful men sexually harassing and abusing them after The New York Times reported sexual misconduct allegations going back decades against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
In his tweets, Trump also cited the “Lesley Stahl tape,” a reference to a New York magazine story in which Franken suggested a joke about drugging, raping and photographing “60 Minutes” correspondent Leslie Stahl.
But Trump’s main focus was Tweeden’s online essay about Franken’s mistreatment of her during the USO tour to the Middle East and Afghanistan a year before Franken ran for the Senate.
“Al Franken kissed and groped me without my consent,” she wrote. Then she addressed him. “You knew exactly what you were doing,” she wrote. “You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later and be ashamed.”
The essay led to widespread bipartisan criticism of Franken and calls for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation. Franken apologized twice and agreed to cooperate with an ethics review.
Tweeden accepted his apology but said it’s up to the people of Minnesota to decide if he should stay in office.