Brown to donate money from Franken amid harassment allegations

Nov 16, 2017
In this image provided by the U.S. Army, then-comedian Al Franken and sports commentator Leeann Tweeden perform a comic skit for service members during the USO Sergeant Major of the Army’s 2006 Hope and Freedom Tour in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on Dec. 15, 2006. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., apologized Nov. 16, 2017, after Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her during the 2006 USO tour. Colleagues, including fellow Democrats, urged a Senate ethics investigation. Tweeden also accused Franken of posing for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept, while both were performing for military personnel two years before the one-time comedian was elected to the Senate. (Staff Sgt. Patrick N. Moes/U.S. Army via AP)

Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign will be donating the $28,100 in donations he’s received from Sen. Al Franken to various charities in the wake of reports that Franken groped and kissed a woman in December 2006 without her consent, his campaign announced Thursday.

The woman, broadcaster and model Leeann Tweeden, said Franken kissed and groped her without her consent during a USO tour in 2006, two years before Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, was elected to the Senate. A photo also circulated Thursday showing Franken smiling at the camera as his hands hovered over her chest while she was sleeping.

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Franken apologized for the harassment Thursday, saying “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R–Kentucky, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D–New York, have called for an ethics investigation into the allegations, and Franken said he would cooperate with an investigation.

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Brown’s campaign said the donations from Franken and his political action committee — which span from Brown’s 2006 campaign for Senate through 2018 and come from both Franken and his leadership PAC — will go to various charities around the state to be determined later.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Midwest Values PAC, has given a total of $26,000 to Brown’s campaign, giving $10,000 in 2018 and 2012 and $6,000 during Brown’s original campaign for Senate. Franken has also given personal donations, according to a Brown campaign spokesman