Tweeden on GMA: Franken to Continue Serving is 'For the People of Minnesota to Decide'

November 17, 2017 07:55 AM

Leeann Tweeden sat down with "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts on Friday to discuss the recent claims she made against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken.

Tweeden, who anchors a morning talk show for California radio station KABC, told listeners Thursday that Franken wrote a skit for the two of them during the 2006 USO tour to the Middle East. Tweeden said Franken insisted they practice a kiss during the rehearsal of the skit.

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Tweeden said she tried to resist, but that Franken forced himself on her and stuck his tongue in her mouth. She also said, during the tour, Franken posed for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept. That photo was made public and circulated widely Thursday.

"I did want to share it (the story) when I came back then," Tweeden told Roberts Friday. She went on to say she was advised not to at the time because "'they're going to annihilate you. They're going to find every skeleton in your closet ... your career's going to be ruined. Don't do it now, it's not worth the effort. You're going to be victimized and nothing's going to happen to him.' So I stayed quiet but I was angry."

Tweeden said recent blacklash against Harvey Weinstein partly inspired her to come forward.

RELATED: 'Weinstein Effect' Goes Global as Powerful Men Confronted

"If I didn't speak up now, I'm going to forever hold that and keep that with me forever. That was my moment to speak up," Tweeden said.

When asked about how she viewed Franken's apology, she said the longer statement he made felt "heartfelt."

RELATED: Franken Responds to Allegations: 'I'm Sorry'

"I do accept it," Tweeden told Roberts. "I think he realized how people felt about it and how it's a different time; 2006 is not 2017."

When asked whether she thinks Franken should resign, she said, "that's not my call; I didn't do this to have him step down. I think Al Franken does a lot of good things in the Senate. I think that's for the people of Minnesota to decide. I'm not calling for him to step down; that was never my intention. I just wanted him to understand what he did was wrong."

View the full interview in the player above.

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Rebecca Omastiak

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