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Franken denies new allegation he forcibly tried to kiss woman 

By: The Associated Press and news services
December 6, 2017 Updated: December 6, 2017 at 10:56 am
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FILE - In a Nov. 15, 2017 file photo, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., speaks during the Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Franken has agreed to talk with a handful of Minnesota media outlets on Sunday, Nov. 26, marking his first interviews since the Democrat was swept into a nationwide tide of sexual harassment allegations. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday denied a new sexual misconduct accusation that came from a former Democratic congressional aide that he tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006.

The Minnesota Democrat said in a statement that the allegation, reported by Politico, was "categorically not true."

The woman, who was not identified by name, said Franken pursued her after her boss had left and she was collecting her belongings. She said she ducked to avoid his lips, and that  Franken told her: "It's my right as an entertainer."

Franken, in his statement, said the idea he would claim such conduct as a right as an entertainer was "preposterous."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) called for Franken to resign Wednesday in the wake of the latest allegation.

The senator is facing a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into previous claims by several other women that he groped them or sought to forcibly kiss them.

"This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous," Franken said. "I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation."

The allegations against  Franken began in mid-November when Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour.

Several other allegations have followed, including a woman who says that  Franken put his hand on her buttocks during a picture pose at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. Two women, who asked to remain anonymous, have told the Huffington Post that  Franken squeezed their buttocks at political events during his first campaign for the Senate in 2008. A fourth woman, an Army veteran, alleged  Franken cupped her breast during a photo op on a USO tour in 2003.

Franken has apologized for his behavior but he has disputed some of the allegations.

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