An Army veteran claims Sen. Al Franken groped her breast during a photo op while he was on a USO tour in 2006. Stephanie Kemplin is the fifth woman to publicly accuse Franken of sexual misconduct.
On Wednesday night, a Franken spokesperson told CNN, which broke the story: “As Sen. Franken made clear this week, he takes thousands of photos and has met tens of thousands of people and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct. He remains fully committed to cooperating with the ethics investigation.”
Kemplin, however, remembers a very intentional action on Franken’s part. While she was stationed in Kuwait, Franken visited American troops and she got in line to have her photo taken with the former SNL regular and future U.S. senator.
“When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast,” Kemplin told CNN. “I’ve never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side.
“I remember thinking, ‘Is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand?’ He never moved his hand.” She said he held his hand on her breast “long enough that he should have known, if it was an accident.”
Kemplin said she eventually turned her body, to shift Franken’s hand off her breast, before the picture was taken:
Franken has said he is “fully committed” to cooperating with an ethics investigation, which was called for after radio host Leeann Tweeden released a photo of Franken similarly putting his hands over her breasts as she slept on the flight back to the U.S. from their USO tour in 2006.