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What people, including the president, have been saying about Al Franken

The senator is in hot water after accusations of sexual misconduct by radio host Leeann Tweeden.
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The fallout to the accusations against Sen. Al Franken continued well into Thursday night, with President Trump among those having their say.

The Minnesota senator is facing an Senate ethics investigation as well as calls to resign from supporters on both sides of the aisle after radio host Leeann Tweeden said she was forcibly kissed by the then comedian while rehearsing for a USO show in 2006.

She also shared a picture showing Franken pretending to grope her breasts as she slept on the flight home from the show.

It's prompted comment from both Democrats, Republicans and commentators everywhere. Here's some of the key reaction:

President Trump

The president has invited a bit of backlash after deciding to weigh in on the Franken debate on Twitter despite failing to comment publicly on the accusations of child molestation against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Nonetheless here's what he had to say about Al "Frankenstein."

Amy Klobuchar

Minnesota's senior senator and Franken's fellow Democrat had her say Thursday afternoon, echoing calls from Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for an ethics investigation into Franken's conduct.

“This should not have happened to Leeann Tweeden. I strongly condemn this behavior and the Senate Ethics Committee must open an investigation," she said. "This is another example of why we need to change work environments and reporting practices across the nation, including in Congress."

Stephen Colbert

Franken's fellow comedian and Late Show host was unimpressed by Franken's initial and follow up apology to Tweeden, saying:

“O.K., ‘intended to be funny but wasn’t?’ No. Your movie ‘Stuart Saves His Family’ was intended to be funny but wasn’t. That photo was intended to embarrass her — that’s why he did it while she was asleep. Nobody goes up to their buddy when he’s awake and says, ‘Hey, can I draw a penis on your forehead?’”

Politicians who received Franken donations

Several Democrats have announced they're donating the funding they have received from Sen. Franken.

Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin has said she's donating $20,000 she got from Franken's political action committee to a group benefiting women veterans, KARE 11 reports.

Fortune reports she's one of 11 senators who have confirmed they're donating Franken contributions, including North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp.

Iowa congressional candidate and state Rep. Abby Finkenauer said she's doing the same, telling the Des Moines Register: ""Nothing about Senator Franken’s actions on the USO Tour in 2006 is funny or okay."

The New York Times

Trending nationally this morning is the New York Times comment piece "Franken Should Go."

Writer Michelle Goldberg says Franken might have been able to explain away the "forcible kiss" as acting, given he was a comic actor and not a senator at the time, but she describes the "disgusting, indelible photograph" of him pretending to grope Tweeden's breast as "utterly dehumanizing."

She says that despite there being an argument against his resignation, allowing him to continue would be a blow to the current movement of calling out male sexual harassment.

"The message to men in power about sexual degradation has to be clear: We will replace you," she concludes.

Minnesota politicians

Minnesota DFL chair Ken Martin said in a statement the party is "incredibly disappointed" in Franken and commended Tweeden for "courageously coming forward to share her story."

"We must create a culture of zero tolerance for sexual harassment, and that starts with holding people accountable for their inappropriate actions," he added.

Jennifer Carnahan, the chair of the Minnesota GOP, called for him to resign, the Star Tribune reports.

Rep. Erin Murphy, who is running for the Democratic ticket in next year's gubernatorial race, said: “It’s not ok. It’s never ok. And by doing anything but saying so we are condoning it and sending the message that such conduct really is ok for a person in power. I await Senator Franken’s full explanation but I also believe he should lead by example and step aside."

She's one of two Democratic gubernatorial candidates calling for his resignation, with state auditor Rebecca Otto following suit despite describing Franken as her friend.

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