Trump’s scolding of Franken immediately backfires

President Donald Trump weighed in on the sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Thursday night, despite numerous similar allegations made against him.

Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles news anchor, revealed on Thursday that Franken, a comedian at the time, had taken a photo of her in 2006 where he grabbed her chest, smiling and posing for the camera, as she was asleep. Tweeden also said Franken “put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth” during a rehearsal for a USO show they were doing together.

Trump has yet to publicly speak about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore—whom several women say engaged in a myriad of inappropriate sexual contact with them, including numerous women who were underage at the time—but found time to speak up against Franken, who has often been critical of the president.

“The Al Frankenstien [sic] picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?…..” Trump wrote in back-to-back tweets. “.And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?”

The reference to Stahl, a CBS News journalist, is apparently a reference to a 1995 interview where Franken, then a cast member of Saturday Night Live, spoke about a skit in which she would have been drugged and raped. 

As soon as Trump posted the tweets, Twitter users reminded him of the numerous sexual misconduct allegations that have come up against him. Perhaps most infamously, Trump was caught on a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape bragging about sexually assaulting women and get away with it for being a public figure.

“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump said in the recording, released in October 2016. “You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the pussy.”

Before the 2016 election, several women told the New York Times that Trump assaulted them and touched them inappropriately. At least 16 women say Trump sexually assaulted or harassed them.

The backlash on Twitter to Trump’s tweets came quickly.

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).