Jane Mayer’s extensive New Yorker piece that contends former Democratic Sen. Al Franken was railroaded over sexual-misconduct allegations caused regular View sparring partners Joy Behar and Meghan McCain to once again lock horns on Tuesday.
Discussing Mayer’s story, Behar complained that Franken—who resigned from the Senate amid a cascading scandal surrounding inappropriate touching and kissing—never got the benefit of due process.
“If you read the story, some of it is—the other thing about it is that it was kind of a political hit in many ways,” the liberal host declared. “He was very much effective in questioning Jeff Sessions, which forced him to resign. And Betsy DeVos, he was after her, so he was a big target, you know.”
After Behar said initial Franken accuser Leeann Tweeden had holes in her story that should have come out at the time, McCain noted that Tweeden is a personal friend of hers before taking issue with Mayer’s report. Claiming it “doesn’t talk about the seven other women who accused him of sexual misconduct” (the story actually does), McCain went on to compare Mayer’s story to her reporting on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“I want you to go back in time and remember it would be very uncomfortable for Democrats if Al Franken were sitting there questioning Brett Kavanaugh at the same time,” McCain declared. “And the article only focuses on Leeann—it’s not focusing on the seven other women at the same time. I don’t think that #MeToo and sexual assault should be about which party you voted in the general election.”
Behar, meanwhile, countered that Franken has said that those other encounters with women over the years were “part of his personality,” much the same way former Vice President Joe Biden “has been able to get out of those accusations.”
McCain, however, didn’t think the allegations made against Biden of unwanted touching were comparable to Franken’s.
“Well, they disappeared the minute he resigned,” Behar replied. “That was the end of them. It’s suspicious in itself, but Biden has been accused of being too touchy-feely and Franken says he is, too. I’m here to say that has to stop on both sides.”
The conservative co-host pushed back against Behar, saying that Franken was accused of kissing women without permission, prompting her liberal colleague to fire back.
“But this is the same thing that Biden says and you’re OK with that?” Behar wondered aloud, causing McCain—who counts Biden as a close family friend—to claim that no woman she knows has accused Biden of forcefully trying to kiss her.
Following the accusations of inappropriate touching against Biden earlier this year, McCain went off on the accusers, claiming the whole thing was “a hatchet job” and “unfair” while calling Biden a “man of true character.”
McCain went on to bring up the infamous photo of Franken with Tweeden, stating that there are no pictures of “Joe Biden putting his hands on a woman’s breast.”
“It was a flak jacket,” Behar responded. “The problem is she was sleeping and he said it was wrong. He was nowhere near her actual breasts.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin eventually jumped in to mediate, saying there appears to be a dispute about what happened with Franken and that “the problem is that he wasn’t afforded any due process.”
“I also would have been fine with due process,” McCain later said. “I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with [Mayer’s] article.”