December 06, 2017

Pa. Sen. Casey joins female colleagues, asks Franken to resign

Politics Sexual Misconduct
Bob Casey Alex Brandon/AP

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., speaks about President Donald Trump's first 100 days during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in Washington.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has joined six of his female colleagues in calling for Minnesota Sen. Al Franken to step down amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Casey echoed the sentiment after another woman came forward accusing Franken, a Democrat, of trying to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show.

"I agree with my colleagues who have stepped forward today and called on Senator Franken to resign," Casey said in a tweet Wednesday. "We can’t just believe women when it’s convenient."

Casey made his stance after Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, N.Y., Patty Murray, Wash., Claire McCaskill, Mo., Mazie Hirono, Hawaii, Kamala Harris, Calif., and Maggie Hassan, N.H. together asked Franken to step down.

"I'm shocked and appalled by Sen. Franken's behavior," Murray said, according to the Associated Press. "It's clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time. It's time for him to step aside."

Amid the recent calls by his fellow senators to resign, Franken's office said he would make an announcement Thursday. 

A former Democratic congressional aide told Politico that Franken blocked the door as she tried to leave a taping of his show in 2006, attempting to kiss her. She alleged that as she left, he said, “It’s my right as an entertainer.”

Franken, who was not a senator at the time of the alleged incident, denied the account.

“This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous," said Franken, who added he is cooperating with an ongoing Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his behavior.

Last month, former Playmate and Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden said Franken insisted they practiced kissing for a skit he wrote during a 2006 USO tour to the Middle East. Tweeden said Franken forced himself on her and put his tongue down her throat. She also published a photo showing Franken with his hands on her breasts while she slept.

Two separate women have since accused Franken of groping them during photo ops. The senator has apologized but denied some specific allegations.