Transcript for Al Franken accuser Leeann Tweeden speaks out about sexual misconduct allegations against senator
Allegations of sexual misconduct proved to be a bipartisan problem yesterday after news anchor and model Leeann tweeden accused democratic senator Al Franken of making unwanted sexual advances towards her on a USO tour back in 2006 and taking this lewd photo while she was asleep. She's joining us now to share her story. Leeann tweeden thank you so much for coming on today. Thank you. You and I are old friends. I've known you a long time. I'm really happy you came to speak here today. For the people at home that don't know your story would you share it. I went on a tour in 2006. I was my ninth USO tour. Eighth to Middle East since 9/11. My dad served in Vietnam and my husband now still serves in the United States air force. He's a pilot. So it's something close to my heart. You know, it's a really special thing. I never wore the uniform. It's my way of giving back. It was a holiday tour in 2006. I don't sing and dance. That's what a lot people think of USO tours like Bob Hope days. I'm a sports caster. I MC the shows. We had country singers go with us. We had the Dallas cowboy cheer leaders and they danced. I MC the show. Am Franken went with us. He's a writer actor comedian. He sort of co mced the tours too. He had written some scripts and brought props from "Snl." He would do skits in between. I never met him before this trip. He said, hey, I found out who you are. I've written a script if you want to do a script with me, do a little skit at the beginning of the show. I thought okay. That could be fun. It could be -- we'll do something for the troops. It would be a little fun. He wrote the script. It was very tongue in cheek. It was full of sexual in knew dos. It was fun. A lot of military is young, early 20s young males. It was very funny. I didn't get the script until a few days before the show. I was reading through it. It's very tongue and cheek. There's a kissing thing. I didn't think anything of it. We're not really going to kiss. It's just a funny thing. Right before our firls show in Kuwait before we started before we went into Iraq and Afghanistan he said we need to rehearse the kissing scene. I have sort of ignored him. It was the two of us. We were getting ready to go on. He said we really need to rehearse the kissing scene. I'm like it's not "Snl." We're not doing a movie. We don't need to do that. He said no actors have to rehearse their scenes. I'm like okay. You go right I'll go right so it's not awkward. Trying to be funny. It was like we really need to rehearse. That was that girl that was miked up for the NYPD for the Harvey Weinstein thing. I'm like that persistence and I'm like okay we'll rehearse the scene. In my mind when we were going to do it I would do the old Bob Hope thing the older guy and younger girl I would turn my head and cover his mouth something funny that would get a laugh from the crowd. He sort of comes at me. He puts his hand behind my head. He comes in. It happened so fast. He comes in and mashes his mouth against my mouth and sticks his tongue in my mouth. I was so shocked. I was not expecting that at all. That was the last thing I was expecting. I pushed him away from me. I was like if you ever do that again -- you know, what are you doing. My hand -- I ever have this reaction when I see him on TV my hands goes into a fist because I want to punch him. What did he say when you said if you ever do that to me again? He kind of played it off. He was like you know. He was playing it off like that was kind of what the script was going to be. Like ha ha. They test the waters. Clearly you felt very violated. Of course. You get home from the tour and get a disc of all the photos. In that disc is the photo of him appearing to grab your breasts. Do you think he was trying to be funny? I don't think there's anything funny about that photo. When I saw it, I mean there's a whole other thing. That was the beginning of the trip. That happened and then there were little petty things that happened for the next two weeks. Then it ended with that photo that I didn't see until I got home. I was angry. I felt belittled. It was embarrassing. Let me ask you about the other people in the photo. There's a photographer in the room. The guy next to me mark wills. He was asleep as well. He was sleeping. Uh-huh. The photographer wasn't. Obviously. There were other people on the plane. I was asleep. Aren't you angry with them also for letting this happen? Sure. Let's talk about that. That's part of the culture that we're trying to change, right? We're trying to change a culture where in the workplace we talk about that. People see harassment all the time at work, right N. Nobody says anything. What about the Harvey Weinstein and the lawyer that writes up those contracts that says okay you can abuse people but you pay them off. Send a little money to the company and we'll let it go. People see it all the time. It's a bad environment. Didn't they use that photo as a publicity photo as something? That photo died THA day. I thought I heard something that it went out there. I don't think so. It sounds like the photo being on the heels of this trip considering all the other things that happened. It feels worse looking at it. Like if it was a stand alone it would -- not that I'm saying it would be innocent. You feel worse looking at that picture hearing all the build up to it. Of course. During the trip -- after that happened then I had to spend two weeks with him, right? I made sure I was never alone with him again. I was so angry. I didn't talk to him during the whole trip. I had to deal with petty things. I had to sit -- we had autographs lines. After three hours on stage troops come and get autographs from you. They stand in line. We have autograph sheets. I sat next to him and would always sort of put my back to him because I couldn't take it. I would see little things move and go back -- one day I looked down my head shot he drew double horns on me with a goatee and devil tail and pitch fork. What do you think of that? So I'm the devil now. It was because you pushed him away. Make of it what you will. It's the little petty thing the passive aggressive things I would deal with. Comments on the back of the bus. He said he doesn't remember the skit the same way you do. He apologize twice. How do you feel about that? He apologized twice. When I talked about it on my show -- hi guys -- the first one was really quick. It sounded a staffer. I said okay. They responded to it. We reached out for comment. I think they got a little push back. It was like that's all you have to say Mr. Franken. You accepted his apology? I accepted the second one of course. I wasn't calling for his resignation or his career to independent. . I was like this isn't right. I have two young children. I have a boy and girl. I don't want this to happen to them. He also has written to your penlly, is that correct? He has. Literally I just got it in the dressing room backstage. He reached out to me. I want to talk to him personally. I haven't had time. You will speak to him personally? I will. We're going to take a quick break. I'm happy you're hear. We'll talk about your work with veterans too. We'll be right back. ???
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