Twitter explodes over Franken groping allegations

Twitter explodes over Franken groping allegations
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Twitter exploded on Thursday over allegations from a KABC radio anchor that Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenDem voters split on importance of women atop the ticket in 2020 Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government MORE (D-Minn.) groped her without consent in 2006 while flying to a USO Tour event in the Middle East. 

The incident, which included photographic evidence, occurred three years before the former “Saturday Night Live” star won his Senate seat. 

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"It wasn’t until I was back in the U.S. and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw this one," Leeann Tweeden wrote in a piece on KABC.com, a Los Angeles-based ABC radio affiliate. 

"I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated," she wrote. "How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?"

Tweeden included a photo of Franken, who has been married since 1975, grabbing her breasts while smiling back at the camera.

The reaction on social media was swift as Franken shot to the top of Twitter's trending list of most-discussed topics on the site in a matter of minutes after the story broke.

Franken apologized to Tweeden in a brief statement. 

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it," he said.

There has been speculation that Franken may run for president in 2020. He was floated as a possible running mate for former Democratic White House nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms Special counsel issues rare statement disputing explosive Cohen report MORE.