Sixteen women have accused the president of sexual misconduct.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that the allegations of sexual assault against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) are different from those President Donald Trump has faced because Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
A reporter asked Sanders during the daily press briefing if it would be fair to investigate the claims of sexual assault that more than a dozen women made about Trump during the 2016 campaign. Senators are currently calling for an ethics investigation into whether Franken should keep his seat ― a probe that Franken himself says he supports.
“I think that this was covered pretty extensively during the campaign,” Sanders said. “We addressed that then. The American people, I think, spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president.”
“How is this different?” the reporter asked.
“I think in one case specifically, Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing, and the president hasn’t,” Sanders replied. “I think that’s a very clear distinction.”
Franken, who on Thursday was accused of kissing and groping anchor Leeann Tweeden in 2006 without her consent, has issued an apology.
“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” he said. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
Trump tweeted later Thursday about the allegations, referring to a photo that appears to show Franken touching Tweeden’s breasts while she was asleep.