GOP campaign committees call on Democrats to return Franken donations

GOP campaign committees call on Democrats to return Franken donations
© Greg Nash

Republican House and Senate campaign committees are calling on Democrats to return donations from Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard? Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees Sen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats MORE (D-Minn.) in light of allegations that he groped and kissed a woman without her consent.

Leeann Tweeden, a radio anchor and sports broadcaster, on Thursday accused Franken of sexual misconduct and provided a photo showing him groping her while she was asleep.

She also said he kissed her forcibly during a rehearsal for a skit during a USO tour. Franken issued a short apology in an initial statement, then followed up with a longer one in which he called for an ethics investigation into himself.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the House GOP campaign arm, has called on Democrats to return Franken's donations and highlighted the seven Democratic candidates and one House incumbent who have received $1,500 each from Franken. The races called out in the NRCC press release are among some of the most competitive in 2018.

“These allegations are disgusting and Democrats who took Senator Franken’s campaign money need to take action,” said NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman. “Return his donations and do it immediately."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, is also calling on Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 and have received campaign contributions from Franken to give back the money.

“Franken has been a longtime supporter of [Sen. Tammy] Baldwin, donating $15,000 to her campaigns. If Baldwin won’t immediately denounce Franken and return his donations, it will be clear she puts partisan politics over basic decency,” one NRSC press release says about the Wisconsin Democrat who faces reelection next cycle.

The series of press releases from the NRSC also highlight Democratic Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterWith vote against Brownback, Democrats abandon religious freedom Democrat Manchin: Pence attacks prove ‘they don't want bipartisanship’ in Trump admin Tester invited the Border Patrol Union’s president to the State of the Union. What does that say to Dreamers?   MORE (Mont.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineSave lives, restore congressional respect by strengthening opioids’ seizure Overnight Finance: Lawmakers, Treasury look to close tax law loopholes | Trump says he backs gas tax hike | Markets rise despite higher inflation | Fannie Mae asks for .7B Bipartisan Senate group says they have immigration deal MORE (Va.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Toomey to introduce bill broadening background checks for firearms Scott Walker backs West Virginia attorney general in GOP Senate primary MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Dem group launches M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators Senate rejects Trump immigration plan MORE (Ind.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann Stabenow10 Senate Democrats are up for reelection in Trump country At least Alzheimer’s research is bringing Washington together Senate Dems block crackdown on sanctuary cities MORE (Mich.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDems hit stock buybacks in tax law fight Dem senator warns Mueller against issuing Russia report near 2018 election Dem praises gay US Olympian who feuded with Pence MORE (Pa.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonGingrich says arming teachers only long-term solution to school shootings Florida students turn to activism in wake of shooting CNN invites Trump to town hall with parents, students of Florida high school MORE (Fla.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownLawmaker interest in NAFTA intensifies amid Trump moves Dem senator shares photo praising LeBron James after Laura Ingraham attacks Trump gets recommendation for steep curbs on imported steel, risking trade war MORE (Ohio) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill welcomes ninth grandson in a row Dem group launches M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators Senate Dems block crackdown on sanctuary cities MORE (Mo.).

Later on Thursday, McCaskill's campaign said it will donate $30,000 she's gotten from Franken's political action committee to a charity in Missouri, according to the Kansas City Star.

Abby Finkenauer, a Democratic House candidate running against Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), will return the $1,500 in campaign cash she's received from Franken, her campaign said. 
This story was updated at 1:45 p.m.