Sen. Al Franken groped Arianna Huffington in 2000 photo shoot, NY Post reports

Arianna Huffington said the photos were intended for comedic effect.

EXCLUSIVE: New photos show Al Franken grabbing Arianna Huffington’s breasts and butt https://t.co/KethHKj50Kpic.twitter.com/Ozm427oLCP

Huffington said the photos were intended to reference a comedy sketch the two had performed together. 

“The notion that there was anything inappropriate in this photo shoot is truly absurd,” Huffington said in a statement, according to the Post. 

“Al and I did a comedic sketch for Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect called Strange Bedfellows, in which the whole point, as the name makes clear, was that we were doing political commentary from bed,” Huffington told the Post. “This shoot was looking back at the sketch, and we were obviously hamming it up for comedic effect.”

“I’ve been great friends with Al and his wife Franni for over 20 years and there has never been anything remotely inappropriate in our interactions,” she said. 

Huffington again replied on Tuesday morning in a tweet, saying she was a “better judge” than any bystanders.

“I thought the point of this moment was to believe women’s accounts of their own experiences,” she wrote.

I think I’m a better judge of how I felt in that satirical photo shoot with Al Franken than the recollections of an anonymous bystander. I thought the point of this moment was to believe women’s accounts of their own experiences.

Two women have accused the Minnesota senator of sexual misconduct. Lindsay Menz, 33, told CNN that Franken grabbed her buttocks when she posed for a picture with him at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. Leeann Tweeden said Franken “forcibly kissed” then later pretended to grope her while she was sleeping during a USO tour in the Middle East to entertain U.S. troops in 2006. 

With a second accuser alleging sexual misconduct at the hands of Senator Al Franken, two prominent progressive groups are calling for his resignation.
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Here is how the Post’s unnamed source described the encounter: 

“Franken was clowning around, but it really isn’t funny,” said a source from the shoot. “That’s his tactic, pretend like it’s all a big joke. Arianna was pushing his hands away. He was groping her. There was some fun attached to it, but she wasn’t enjoying it. She definitely told him to stop and pushed him away … 

” … Franken stood there with his hand on her bottom for a long time, because there are numerous frames, each taken seconds apart, and his hand was there the whole time — his hand wasn’t just there for a quick moment,” the source said. 

More: Second woman accuses Sen. Franken of sexual misconduct: report

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