White House: Donald Trump Welcomes Investigation Of Al Franken On Harassment Claim


The White House applauded calls for the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Dem Sen. Al Franken after a radio host published a photo from 2006 where he had his hands on her breasts as she slept on a flight back from a USO tour.

But Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted it’s not for President Donald Trump to call for GOP candidate Roy Moore to step away from Alabama’s race to fill Jeff Sessions seat in the U.S. Senate, saying he would leave that up to voters in the state. She likewise declined to say Trump had rescinded his endorsement of Moore, playing the “up to local voters” card here too.

“It appears that the Senate is looking into that – which they should. We believe that is an appropriate action,” she told reporters at Thursday’s White House press briefing about Franken.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and even Franken have called for an investigation of his behavior; Franken issued a short apology Thursday morning and a much longer statement in the afternoon, in which he said he wanted to apologize to Leeann Tweeden, everyone on that USO tour, his staff, his constituents and “everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women.” [Read his full statement here.]

But the first question in the presser was about Moore, who are alleged by nine women now to have engaged in disturbing behavior including assaulting a 14-year-old, locking a 17-year-old in his car and trying to force her to perform oral sex on him, when he was in his 30’s and assistant DA. He also is accused of calling another teen at her high school and getting her out of trigonometry class so he could ask her out when she declined to give him her phone number at the shopping mall.

Some of those allegations were made while Trump was on his 12-day tour through Asia. But in her first presser since Trump’s return, Sanders insisted Trump’s position on the situation had not changed, saying “the President believes these allegations are very troubling and should be taken seriously” but that “the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be.

Virtually all questions at the presser were about Moore. Sanders even got asked if she thought Moore is a “creep.”

Asked if Trump is going to campaign with Moore, Sanders dodged, saying “Not that I am aware of.”

One reporter, who told her his question was “my story assignment for day,” noted Trump had faced similar allegations during the campaign which he vigorously denied. The reporter wondered what she thought was the difference in Moore’s situation that had caused Trump to find allegations against Moore so troubling while telling voters not to pay attention to anything alleged against him by more than a dozen women during his presidential campaign.

Shot back Sanders: “I think the president has, certainly a lot more insight into what he personally did or didn’t do.”

During post presser navel lint gazing, Dem strategist Paul Begala wondered why White House correspondents expected a more full-throated condemnation from a White House occupied by a guy who would not take a stand against Nazis.

The only inching forward came when Sanders acknowledged Trump supported the decision by the RNC to withdraw resources from Moore’s campaign – a development that happened when he was out of town.


This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2017/11/donald-trump-al-franken-roy-moore-grope-harassment-sarah-huckabee-sanders-1202210123/