‘It’s my right as an entertainer’: Franken staffer comes forward as 7th accuser of sexual misconduct

It appears the worst is not yet behind Al Franken.

The Democratic Minnesota Senator was hit by another sexual harassment allegation on Wednesday–bringing the total up to seven.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The latest accuser, whose name has been withheld, told Politico the alleged incident took place in 2006, while she worked as a staffer on Franken’s radio show.

She said she was gathering her belongings to follow the future Senator out of the room when she turned around and found herself face-to-face with him.

According to the woman, Franken attempted to kiss her, justifying himself by saying “It’s my right as an entertainer.”

In her own words:

“He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer.'”

The former staffer, who was in her mid-20s at the time, did not respond to Franken. She also claimed to have never met Franken prior to the incident.

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(Photo: Getty / Chip Somodevilla).

Two of the woman’s former colleagues corroborated the story in interviews with Politico. The first colleague said the woman told her about the experience shortly after it happened in 2006. The second colleague learned about it in 2009 or 2010.

The accuser said she felt moved to speak out after seeing Franken criticize President Trump over his comments in the Access Hollywood tapes–a move she considered “hypocritical.”

“It was a moment in time where I told a number of my friends about my experience with Franken because I saw him on the news being asked about the Trump tape and I felt like it was really hypocritical. It’s a power dynamic and the fact that Donald Trump could say that was not much different from the fact that Al Franken could say it.”

She also took issue with the Senator’s apology.

“I don’t want to be in the position of deciding whether to tell this story but I’m not the person who put me in that position. He did that. I think for this moment in time to lead to meaningful change there has to be more than ‘I’m ashamed but I remember things differently’ accounting.”

Franken categorically denied the accusation.

“This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous,” he said. “I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation.”

As Franken himself noted, he is under investigation by the Senate ethics committee for allegedly groping and sexually harassing several women, including sports commentator Leeann Tweeden.

screenshot al franken gropes leeann tweeden
(Photo: Twitter).

Franken has maintained he will not resign from the Senate.

On Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced his retirement after facing sexual misconduct allegations of his own. And in New Mexico, Lieutenant Governor candidate Michael Padilla withdrew from the race after past charges of sexual harassment resurfaced.

If the flow of allegations continues, there may not be any Democrats left in public office.

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