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.


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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