A quick Franken resignation might ratchet up the heat on Moore, particularly if the president-who has no moral standing to point fingers at abusers of women-uses the occasion to condemn bad behavior all around and push Moore towards the dustbin of history.
Sen. Al Franken has apologized after radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden said today that he groped and kissed her without consent in 2006. Franken is shown grinning and staring at the camera while reaching out as if to grope Tweeden's breasts as she sleeps. They deserve to be heard, and believed.
"Comedy is no excuse for inappropriate conduct, and I believe there should be an ethics investigation", she added.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the highest ranking female senator, also backed calls for ethics investigation into Franken's "unacceptable behavior" calling it "extremely disappointing".
"To this day I talk about it and my hand clenches into a fist", Tweeden said.
"I felt belittled. I was ashamed".
While rehearing their lines before the show, Franken insisted they practice the kissing scene, to which she objected.
When asked if she thought Franken should step down, Tweeden said, "That's not why I came out with my story". Al Franken forcibly kissed and groped her, said Thursday that Franken's forced kiss on her years ago was "persistent" and "uncomfortable".
"I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann", Franken said in a statement provided to the Guardian.
McConnell's push for to review Tweeden's allegations against Franken comes just days after the Senate leader warned Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore that he would face an ethics probe if he wins the upcoming special election, over allegations of sexual misconduct toward teenage girls.
And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories.
For Democrats, there's not much to lose in attacking Franken; even if this scandal continues to unfold, and more victims come forward, forcing the senator to resign, he would nearly certainly be replaced by a Democrat appointed by Minnesota's Democratic governor.
Franken has issued two statements on the allegations since Tweeden's column was published, apologizing to her but saying he remembered the incidents differently.
"I'm telling my story because there may be others", she said. "I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them". "I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter".