Tina Dupuy, one of the women who accused Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of groping her without her consent, said Friday on CNN that the senator’s resignation speech was “inappropriate” because he offered no apology to his victims.
What are the allegations against Franken?
Last month, radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of sexually harassing her during a 2006 USO tour. Tweeden also made public an image appearing to show Franken groping her breasts while she slept.
After Tweeden came forward, multiple other women accused Franken of groping them. Dupuy, a liberal columnist, wrote in The Atlantic that she believed Franken’s accusers because she said he groped her at a 2009 Media Matters party.
Dupuy wrote that she asked Franken for a picture because she thought it would make her foster mom happy.
“We posed for the shot,” she wrote. “He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice.”
She added that the exchange was “inappropriate and unwanted.”
“It was also quick; he knew exactly what he was doing,” Dupuy wrote.
What did Franken say?
Franken’s colleagues initially called for an ethics investigation into his behavior, but as more allegations against him came to light, they demanded his resignation from the Senate.
In a resignation speech Thursday, Franken said was “upset” by the allegations, which he called “not true.”
“I am proud that during my time in the Senate I have used my power to be a champion of women,” he said. “And that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day. I know there has been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.”
Franken further argued that there is “irony” in his resignation as President Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office and Roy Moore runs for Senate in Alabama. Both Republicans have also faced allegations of sexual misconduct.
Franken said he plans to resign in the coming weeks.
What did Dupuy say?
In an interview Friday on CNN's "New Day," Dupuy said Franken’s “defiant” speech was “‘inappropriate.”
“I thought he said to listen to women, and then he talked about himself,” Dupuy said. “It wasn’t an apology. It was very defiant. He wanted to talk about the pain that he was going through — which is obvious — but not the pain that he has inflicted, and I thought that was inappropriate to do that from the Senate floor, quite candidly.”
Dupuy said Franken was “talking to the president” rather than his accusers.
She added that it’s a “false equivalence” to compare Franken’s behavior to others accused of sexual harassment.
“I’m saying that he calls himself a champion of women, but he does these things that says to the women, ‘you have no ownership over your own body.’ That ‘your comfort does not matter.’ That ‘I can touch you and I can do whatever I want to you and it doesn’t matter,’” she said.
Dupuy did praise Franken for resigning before subjecting victims to going through an ethics committee investigation.
Dupuy also said this is a moment of reckoning for Democrats, marking a change from how the party handled former President Bill Clinton’s misconduct.
“I believe that that is the original sin, that we chose, as Democrats, we chose Bill Clinton over the women. And we keep on making that same mistake over and over again, and I believe with Al Franken, we’ve stopped doing that.”
Asked what should happen if Moore is elected to the Senate, Dupuy said, “the Republicans need to deal with the Republicans.”