Al Franken Is Now Accused Of Groping A Soldier On Another USO Tour

news
Stephanie Kemplin via CNN

Two weeks to the day since Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota was accused by a fellow entertainer of sexually harassing her on a 2006 overseas USO tour, another woman — a former soldier — says she, too, was groped by Franken on a different USO tour.


Stephanie Kemplin, 41, a former military policewoman, told CNN that Franken used a photo opportunity as a chance to cup her breast for “five to 10 seconds” on a USO tour in Kuwait in December 2003. She is the fifth woman to accuse the former comedian and liberal senator of inappropriate contact this month.

Related: Woman Accuses Al Franken Of Molesting Her On 2006 USO Holiday Tour »

"When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast," Kemplin, pictured above with Franken, told CNN. "I've never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side."

She was so shocked, she says, that she never challenged the senator. "It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident,” she said. “I'm very confident saying that."

Kemplin told the news network that reliving Franken’s surliness in recent weeks had triggered traumatic memories of a sexual assault she suffered at the hands of a fellow soldier in Kuwait, also in 2003. She reported the soldier to her chain of command, and what happened next is pretty nuts, according to CNN:

Kemplin was eventually told that while the whole incident was "totally inappropriate behavior," the accused specialist was not guilty of "indecent assault." In addition, she was told that she was "responsible" for having allowed the male specialist to get close to her.

Asked about Kemplin’s allegation against Franken, a representative of the senator told CNN: "As Sen. Franken made clear this week, he takes thousands of photos and has met tens of thousands of people and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct."

Multiple friends and relatives of Kemplin corroborated her account of the encounter with Franken, which she had told them about shortly after the fact. It is also consistent with the broad strokes of other women’s allegations against the senator. CNN also noted that Kemplin is a registered Republican who said she’d voted for Donald Trump for president.

Kemplin, for her part, told CNN she expects not to be believed by some people, because it took 14 years for her to talk about what happened to her. "Nobody wants to believe anybody if you don't immediately stand up and say something,” she said.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.

After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.

But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.

Read More Show Less

That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.

After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.

Read More Show Less

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.

"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."

Read More Show Less
Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in a closely watched war crimes trial this summer has filed a lawsuit against two of his former attorneys and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday.

Read More Show Less

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — The Air Force is reviewing whether some airmen's valor awards deserve to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday.

Goldfein revealed that several airmen are being considered for the nation's highest military award during a press conference at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. He declined to say exactly who could receive the Medal of Honor, pending the outcome of the review process.

Read More Show Less