Backlash After Mika Brzezinski Doubts Franken Accuser

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MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski isn't so sure she believes at least one woman who has accused Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota of sexual harassment.

On the Dec. 8 episode, Brzezinski said she was "very torn apart" by the Democratic Party urging Franken to step down, adding that she felt "that to just be on one side of all of these stories sometimes is very dangerous," according to RealClearPolitics

"I see some politics [in the accusations], but I haven't brought that up every step of the way because, of course, in this 'Me Too' environment you must always just believe the women," said the liberal co-host. "And I think that there's a lot of reasons why we need to look at the women seriously and believe them, and in many cases -- like, for example, I spoke to accusers in Mark Halperin, which, to which he admits a lot of what he's accused of doing. I spoke to them. I believe them. I'm just wondering if all women need to be believed. And I'm concerned that we are being the judge, the jury, and the cops here."

Franken announced on Dec. 7 his plans to resign "in the coming weeks" amid pressure from his Democratic peers, notes ABC News.

Several women have come forward to accuse him of acting inappropriately toward them after radio host Leeann Tweeden spoke out against Franken in November and shared a 2006 photo of him pretending to grope her breasts while she slept.

"...He came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth" after insisting upon rehearsing a skit that included a kiss, she wrote in a KABC piece.

She said she "didn't want to cause trouble" and kept it private at the time.

Brzezinski found the conservative Trump voter's motives questionable and did not think Democrats handled it well.

"I feel like ... we've got a machine gun out, and we're just going around the room with every man that perhaps we don't like politically..." said the MSNBC reporter.  "...I would appreciate if senators, Democratic senators would say the photo is too dangerous. We recognize the work that he’s done for women. I have a list of legislation that he sponsored for victims of domestic violence and rape survivors. We appreciate his work at this time. Right now, that picture is too politically damaging and we prefer if he step aside."

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The co-host's comments enraged Twitter users, who said she was "attempting to de-legitimize" Tweeden despite photographic evidence.

"Our elites are all monsters," said one person.

Another called the comments "unbelievable" and said Brzezinski appeared "to defend sexual assault so long as it is done by Democrats."

An MSNBC anchor stood by her and thanked her for respecting the "Me Too" movement while keeping a critical eye.

"Thank you [Morning Joe] for bravely raising questions around lumping all [accusers], accusations & offenses in one basket," she wrote.

Sources: MSNBC, ABC, KABC, Twitter (2, 3) / Featured Image: U.S. Department of State/Flickr / Embedded Images: Leeann Tweeden via KABC, Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

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