NOV. 10 2005: Al Franken and Arianna Huffington pictured together in 2005, five years after the pictures were taken
Patrick McMullan/Getty Images
By Billy Perrigo and Aric Jenkins
November 21, 2017

Arianna Huffington denied that photos of Sen. Al Franken appearing to grope her during a 2000 photoshoot were inappropriate.

One of the photos that emerged Tuesday, published in the New York Post‘s Page Six, shows Franken on top of Huffington with his hand appearing on her breast. Another shows them back to back, with Franken’s hand on her bottom.

Huffington on Tuesday tweeted in defense of Franken. “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,” she wrote. “I thought the point of this moment was to believe women’s accounts of their own experiences.” Franken’s office declined a request from TIME to comment on the photos.

Franken is facing two allegations of inappropriate groping. Lindsay Menz told CNN in a story that published Monday that Franken touched her without consent at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken told CNN in a statement. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

That allegation came after radio news host Leeann Tweeden said in a blog post last week that Franken forcibly kissed and groped her during a USO tour in 2006.

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” Franken said in a statement. “I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.”

Franken left his post as a writer and performer for Saturday Night Live in 1995. He was elected to the U.S. Senate to represent Minnesota in 2008.

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