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 Franken (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.

{mosads}“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 Tester (Mont.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Claire McCaskill (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.
Tags Al Franken Bill Nelson Bob Casey Claire McCaskill Debbie Stabenow Joe Donnelly Joe Manchin Jon Tester Sherrod Brown Tim Kaine

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