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Photos Show Al Franken Groping Arianna Huffington

Photos Show Al Franken Groping Arianna Huffington Promo Image

New pictures reveal Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota touching Arianna Huffington's breasts and buttocks during a 2000 photo shoot.

Page Six published two exclusive images: in the first, Franken is cupping Huffington's breasts from the behind on a bed. In the second photo, the two are standing back to back while Franken touches Huffington's behind.

Huffington insists there is nothing inappropriate about the images.

"The notion that there was anything inappropriate in this photo shoot is truly absurd," Huffington said in a statement.

The media mogul continued, explaining the photos were a reference to a comedic sketch the duo did for Bill Maher’s "Politically Incorrect" called "Strange Bedfellows" in 1996.

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"This shoot was looking back at the sketch, and we were obviously hamming it up for comedic effect," said Huffington.

"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 added.

In fact, Huffington even credits her career success to that time in her life.

"[Franken] once gave me a picture of himself that said, 'I made you,' -- and in many ways he did," she said during a 2014 book launch, The Hill reported at the time. "The biggest thing I did in my career was in 1996, when I went to bed with [Franken] for a comedy bit called 'Strange Bedfellows.'"

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Because the pictures emerged after two women accused the Minnesota senator of sexual misconduct, some can't help but raise their eyebrows.

Lindsay Menz, 33, alleges Franken touched her inappropriately while the senator was in office in a manner that left her feeling "gross," CNN reports.

Menz says he grabbed her buttocks when she posed for a picture with him at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

Franken later said he did not remember the incident but felt badly Menz felt disrespected while taking the photo.

Another woman, Leeann Tweeden, accuses Franken of "forcibly" kissing and pretending to grope her while she was asleep during a Middle East USO tour to entertain U.S. troops in 2006.

Franken wrote a letter apologizing to Tweeden, reports ABC News.

"I want to apologize to you personally," reads the letter. "I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture. But that doesn't matter. There's no excuse. I understand why you can feel violated by that photo. I remember that rehearsal differently. But what's important is the impact on you and you felt violated by my actions, and for that I apologize."

Franken has told the media he will fully cooperate if there is a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his actions.

Sources: Page Six, The HillCNN, ABC News / Featured Image: Lori Shaull/Flickr / Embedded Images: Page Six/Twitter, Arianna Huffington/Facebook

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