I’m not defending Al Franken’s alleged sexual harassment of Leeann Tweeden in 2006, but why have so many Democrats and most of the media avoided discussion of the possible role of a sleazy Trump operative in disseminating the story?
Franken deserves condemnation for his behavior, at least as evidenced by the photo that emerged from the incident that shows him pretending to grope a seemingly sleeping Tweeden.
But all of this still raises the question, how and why did Roger Stone, the longtime political dirty trickster and Trump campaign advisor, know before the rest of the public that this information was coming out about Franken?
In case anyone missed it (and apparently a lot have), a Twitter account linked to Stone tweeted last week that it was about to be “Al Franken’s ‘time in the barrel’. Franken next in long list of Democrats to be accused of ‘grabby’ behavior…”
The tweet came hours before Tweeden claimed in a post on the 790 KABC Newstalk blogsite that that Franken had kissed and groped her during a USO Tour in December 2006.
The talk radio station later issued a statement that they had “tipped off some of our news partners” to Tweeden’s revelations the day before, but that “none of us involved in the decision on when to go public coordinated with any group, campaign or individuals outside of the news industry.” So, how did Roger Stone get wind of it?
This is the same Roger Stone who similarly proclaimed last year, in almost exactly the same terms, that Wikileaks was going to be releasing damaging information on Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta. Stone has lately been questioned by the House Intelligence Committee about possible collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russians. He is presumably a target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the same reason.
Tweeden herself has often appeared on the Fox News show of Trump-booster Sean Hannity, and Hannity, of course, had her on the same day her post ran to discuss the Franken incident. Before interviewing Tweeden, Hannity, who has been a staunch supporter of Republican Senate candidate and accused pedophile Roy Moore, called for Franken to resign from the Senate.
All of this at least raises questions whether the release and dissemination of the information on Franken was coordinated and may have served as a diversion not only from the Moore case, but from ongoing political battles in which the Trump administration is involved such as the tax reform debate. Trump himself immediately joined in the Twitter pile-on on Franken, forgetting, of course, his own sexual harassment history. He has been virtually silent on Moore.
There actually has been coverage by CBS News of the Stone connection to the allegations against Franken, yet I have still found no references to that connection on Huffington Post or Politico. DailyKos is apparently one of the few Democratic sites that has tried to shed some light on the Stone role in the dissemination of the allegations against Franken.
Franken himself has endorsed an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee of his behavior, but Tweeden is now saying she accepts Franken’s apology and an investigation isn’t necessary. Why not? Shouldn’t all of this be investigated?
Perhaps more importantly, why the silence from the media and the Democrats about the Roger Stone connection and its implications in this matter?