The Democratic senator swiftly issued an apology to Tweeden, although he claimed to remember the rehearsal differently.
Tweeden writes that she was on the tour to emcee, but Franken wrote a part in one of his skits that had the two of them kiss. Franken, a veteran of numerous USO shows since 1999, had billed the tour as being "in the tradition of Bob Hope". However, Tweeden "said "OK" so he would stop badgering me".
Al Franken was accused of sexual harassment by a Los Angeles radio news anchor on Thursday. In her story, Tweeden also included an image of Franken grabbing her breasts while she was asleep on the flight back.
"We're not going to fix the problems of sexual harassment and assault until men take responsibility for their actions and change their behavior", said the MA senator, who has recently collaborated with Franken for several advocacy videos about specific policy issues. Al Franken, D-Minn., of sexual misconduct accepts his apology and said she is not looking for him to resign.
Franken apologized to Tweeden in a statement but said that he does not "remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way".
She told reporters in a later press conference that she considered the kiss an assault but accepted his apology.
In the detailed essay posted to the KABC website, Tweeden described how she went overseas to perform for the troops with Franken. She also provided photographic evidence of the comedian-turned-senator appearing to grope her while she was asleep. "It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate", he said.
"I respect women. I don't respect men who don't", said Franken, who joined the Senate in 2009 after a career as a comedian. "I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them". "Comedy is no excuse for inappropriate conduct, and I believe there should be an ethics investigation", McCaskill wrote on Twitter.
"He walked up to me, found me in a room, and said hello to me and I was very cold to him", she said.
On the Democratic side, Senator Claire McAskill, who has previously addressed the sexual harassment she has experienced, said she'd also support an ethics investigation. "Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable - in the workplace or anywhere else". "I said something like, 'Relax Al, this isn't SNL ... we don't need to rehearse the kiss'".
"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".