Nov 16, 2017

Mitch McConnell wants Ethics Committee to review Al Franken

Mitch McConnell (left) wants the Ethics Committee to investigate Al Franken (right). Photos: AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called on the Ethics Committee to formally investigate Sen. Al Franken's behavior, per Politico. This comes after a report that Sen. Franken kissed and groped a journalist in 2006 without her consent. Sen. Franken announced in an updated statement that he is also asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken and that he will cooperate. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement he expects the committee to investigate the conduct. A spokesperson for the chairman of the ethics committee, Sen. Johnny Isakson, shared no comment on the matter.

Why it matters: McConnell has a long history of taking sexual misconduct claims seriously, especially when it meant saving the Senate and the GOP's image, as NYT's Carl Hulse details. (He was previously the chairman of the Ethics Committee.) Calling for a formal investigation suggests that McConnell will continue to pursue these claims in the larger effort to clean up the sexual harassment that has been reportedly rampant on Capitol Hill.

"As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this," McConnell said. "Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable—in the workplace or anywhere else." Minutes later,

Go deeper: Read the claims from Leeann Tweeden against Sen. Franken.

This post has been updated.

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In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health