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Former staffers say Franken was a 'champion for women'; accuser speaks on 'The View'

Here's a look at some of the big headlines to come out at the end of the week.

Comments and updates surrounding the Sen. Al Franken allegations – that he forcibly kissed then groped a woman during a 2006 USO tour – continued to come in Friday.

Franken issued a lengthy apology, and called for an ethics investigation into himself. Condemnation from his colleagues and the president of the United States continued to build.

Here's a look at some of the biggest headlines to come Friday.

Female former staffers: 'He treated us with the utmost respect'

Eight women, all of whom worked for Franken at one point, issued a joint statement Friday describing him as a "champion for women."

"Many of us spent years working for Senator Franken in Minnesota and Washington," the statement reads. "In our time working for the Senator, he treated us with the utmost respect. He valued our work and our opinions and was a champion for women both in the legislation he supported and in promoting women to leadership roles in our offices."

It was signed by eight women: Katherine Blauvelt, Alexandra Fetissoff, Jessi Held, Lisbeth Kaufman, Natalie Volin Lehr, Karen Saxe, Charlotte Slaiman, Bethany Snyder

Leeann Tweeden: Franken asked to meet in person

Leeann Tweeden, the radio host who on Thursday revealed her story about Franken's behavior, was on The View Friday. She read a letter she says Franken sent to her. 

Franken also asked her to meet in person, she says.

Tweeden, since writing the blog post about the 2006 USO tour, has said she accepts Franken's apology, and isn't calling for him to step down.

Franken shouldn't resign, argues one writer

Franken's been facing calls to step down from the senate from pundits and commentators, including in a New York Times piece called simply "Franken Should Go."

But in the Washington Post, author and feminist Kate Harding argues the senator should remain in place.

Why?

Not because his "disgusting" behavior in the now-ubiquitous photo, his hands cupping Tweeden's breasts, isn't worth punishing.

But because Franken is one of the senators "who, however flawed, still regularly vote to protect women’s rights and freedoms." Instead, he should make serious outreach efforts toward women, and choose not to run in 2020.

"Then, when ... another Democratic politician’s sexual misconduct is revealed, we can ask the same of him. Don’t just apologize and drop out of sight. Do penance. Live the values you campaigned on. Be a selfless champion for women’s rights."

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Related

Sen. Al Franken keeps a low public profile as fallout from groping photo continues

Here's a look at some of the big updates from the past couple days.

36 women from 'SNL' sign a letter saying Franken never acted inappropriately with them

Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman are among those who signed the letter vouching for their experience with Franken.

Radio host says Al Franken forcibly kissed her during USO skit rehearsal, groped her breasts

A radio host published the allegations Thursday, saying it happened during a 2006 USO tour.

New Al Franken allegation: Woman says the senator grabbed her butt during State Fair photo

She told CNN it happened during a photo at the Minnesota State Fair.

Franken made a name for himself by demanding clear answers – but is currently unable to offer one up himself

The senator demands clarity from others – but is now struggling to offer that up himself.

Another state lawmaker accused of sexual harassment: Rep. Tony Cornish

Accusations against Rep. Tony Cornish have now come out.

Al Franken has to change a lot of minds if he wants to win back Minnesotans' trust

The senator vows he'll make amends – but recent polls show serious damage to his public standing.

New Schoen accuser says there's 'a pattern of inappropriate sexual interactions'

The state senator is facing allegations from a fourth woman.