Trump rape accuser defends Sen. Al Franken against allegations of sexual misconduct: Report

July 10, 2019

Author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who has accused President Donald Trump of raping her more than 20 years ago, is back in the news.

This time, it’s for coming to the defense of a disgraced former senator accused of sexually harassing several women.

Not a pervert?

Writing in her recently published book, What Do We Need Men For?: A Modest Proposal, Carroll insisted that former Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota was not a pervert, the Washington Examiner reports.

“I worked with Al Franken, who was the least pervy guy in New York,” she wrote. “What the Democrats were thinking when they made him leave the U.S. Senate is beyond me.”

However, Carroll’s “least pervy guy” was accused of inappropriate touching and kissing from at least eight different women. One woman, Stephanie Kemplin, said he grabbed her breast in 2003.

The trouble started for Franken, a former comedian, after a picture surfaced showing him fondling a woman on an airplane during a 2006 tour to entertain troops stationed overseas. Dressed in a helmet and body armor, model Leeann Tweeden was sleeping during the flight when Franken mimicked grabbing her breasts.

“As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it,” the Minnesota senator said after the photograph became public. But seven other women came forward over the next few weeks with stories of Franken’s unwanted advances.

Tweeden and two other victims accused the senator of kissing them without consent. Five women said that Franken grabbed them inappropriately while posing for photographs.

#MeToo meltdown

During the height of the #MeToo movement, the public had very little tolerance for accused sexual offenders like Franken. Instead of waiting for a Senate Select Committee on Ethics to conduct an investigation, Franken’s Democratic colleagues began demanding his resignation.

“While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve,” wrote New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the first Democrat to ask Franken to step down.

In total, 35 Democratic senators called for the Minnesota legislator’s resignation, forcing him to vacate his senate seat. Although he claimed “the allegations against me are simply not true,” Franken officially threw in the towel on Jan. 2, 2018.

Franken seemed to regret his choice. “I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that in fact I haven’t done,” he lamented. “I know there’s been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.”

For someone who alleges that she was the victim of a horrible sex crime perpetrated by a powerful politician, Carroll is surprisingly lenient with Franken in her book. She casts doubt upon the accounts of eight women who claim that Franken sexually assaulted them, even though photographic evidence appears to back up many of their allegations.

Double standards

Meanwhile, Carroll expects her readers to believe her story without any second-guessing when it comes to Trump, who she maintains raped her between 1995 and 1996 in a New York City department store dressing room. Writing in her book, she included Trump on a “list of the 21 most revolting scoundrels” she has ever met — men she describes as “foul harassers, molesters, traducers, swindlers, stranglers, and no-goods.”

But Franken, who was photographed placing his hands on a sleeping woman’s chest, is “the least pervy guy in New York,” according to Carroll.

Yet, the columnist’s standards for evaluating sexual assault crimes are clearly flawed. Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper ahead of her July 2 book launch, Carroll insisted that her encounter with the president was not “rape,” but rather a “fight,” because “rape carries so many sexual connotations. This was not sexual,” she said, according to Fox News. “It just hurt.”

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Benjamin Baird

Benjamin Baird is a senior staff writer for the Conservative Institute. He is a veteran infantryman of Iraq and Afghanistan with over 1000 days in combat and holds a degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University. Ben is Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and has written for dozens of conservative publications, including The Daily Caller, American Spectator, American Thinker, New English Review and Jewish News Syndicate.