Franken Accuser: ‘Sad and Appalled’ by Him Not ‘Owning Up to What He Did’
Stephanie Kemplin, who came forward last week with the allegation that Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) groped her in 2003, said Thursday that she was “appalled” by Franken’s speech announcing his resignation.
When Franken announced on the Senate floor on Thursday that he would resign, he said some of the accusations levied against him are false and others he remembered “differently.” He also accused other individuals, such as President Donald Trump, of worse offenses. Kemplin, an Army veteran, said Franken’s speech shows he still refuses to own up to his actions.
“I have to say that I’m so sad and appalled at his lack of response and him owning up to what he did,” Kemplin said. “I feel that he just keeps passing the buck and making it out to be something [in which] we took his behavior the wrong way, or we misconstrued something, or that we just flat-out lied about what happened to us.”
Kemplin is one of seven women who has accused Franken of sexual misconduct; Franken has been photographed with his hands over the breasts of the first accuser, Leann Tweeden. Kemplin did not express sympathy for Franken losing his job.
“It’s just sad overall,” she said. “His resignation is just one of the consequences for what he’s put us through.”
Franken has faced criticism from other quarters for his speech. ABC News’ political director said he “was not contrite really at all.”
Franken defended himself by referencing Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is accused of molesting girls as young as 14. Kemplin said others committing offenses that are worse does not absolve Franken and that he should own up to his actions.
“Justice to me would be him owning up to what he did and to stop trying to pass the buck onto other individuals who possibly—they did commit the same things, maybe even more heinous than what he’s done,” she said.
Franken resigned after his seventh accuser caused female Senate colleagues in the Democratic Party to finally turn against him on Wednesday. He followed Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who retired Tuesday over sexual harassment accusations, while Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D., Nev.) is still defying calls from party leaders to step down.