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ABC Reporter’s Al Franken Tweet Gets It Wrong – and Goes Viral

Mariam Khan‏ issued clarification after wrongly making it appear that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse was brushing off Franken accusations

ABC News reporter Mariam Khan‏ issued a clarification and deleted a tweet Thursday that falsely suggested Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse had downplayed accusations that fellow Democrat Al Franken groped and kissed a woman without her consent.

Khan stated in her initial tweet: “.@SenWhitehouse tell reporters: “You guys need to find something more interesting” when asked about Franken allegations.”

After the tweet went viral, she tweeted again: “”I must clarify. It appears @SenWhitehouse made this comment in passing *before* he was directly asked about the Franken allegations.”

Several people who had retweeted the initial tweet deleted it and apologized. Khan has not apologized. A spokesperson for ABC declined to comment.

Whitehouse quickly retweeted Khan’s clarification, adding that it was “an important clarification” and that he takes “sexual assault allegations very seriously.”

Those who called out Khan included “Pod Save the World” host Tommy Vietor, a former speechwriter in the Obama Administration. He apologized to Whitehouse for believing Khan’s initial tweet, saying it was based on “horribly misleading reporting.”

He said of the Khan’s follow-up tweet: “This isn’t a clarification. It’s terrible reporting that should be corrected. Again I apologize to Sen Whitehouse for my response.”

Franken has apologized to radio host Leeann Tweeden, who said he forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in 2006 and grabbed her breasts while she was asleep on the flight home. She also shared a photo of the groping.