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 FrankenMinnesota New Members 2019 Meet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Gillibrand sidesteps question on possible Clinton 2020 run 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.

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“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) TesterBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Cortez Masto poised to become DSCC chair Mellman: The triumph of partisanship MORE (Mont.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails Overnight Defense: What the midterms mean for defense panels | Pompeo cancels North Korea meeting | Trump eyes Kim summit in early 2019 | Pentagon drops name for border mission Five takeaways from a divisive midterm election MORE (Va.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSotomayor: Kavanaugh now part of the Supreme Court ‘family’ Trump to nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as next EPA administrator Schumer reelected as Senate Democratic Leader MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Trump to nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as next EPA administrator Indiana New Members 2019 MORE (Ind.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSchumer reelected as Senate Democratic Leader Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Battle looms over funding for Trump's border wall MORE (Mich.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — Democratic race for Speaker turns nasty Pro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems Midterms: The winners and losers MORE (Pa.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Why Democratic policies outperform Democratic politicians in rural America Nelson concedes in bitterly-fought Florida Senate race MORE (Fla.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSherrod Brown says he has 'no real timetable' for deciding on 2020 presidential run Banking panel showcases 2020 Dems Dems wonder if Sherrod Brown could be their magic man MORE (Ohio) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillWhy Democratic policies outperform Democratic politicians in rural America Josh Hawley will defend the First Amendment and religious liberty Missouri New Members 2019 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.