WASHINGTON — Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says a former aide on his Democratic opponent’s campaign has made “very concerning” allegations in a police report — allegations Mike Franken says are false.
“Iowa voters deserve honesty and, of course, the victim deserves respect,” Grassley said Tuesday during an interview with Iowa radio reporters.
Kimberley Strope-Boggus was fired from Franken’s campaign in February. She says Franken kissed her without her permission in March after offering her a new campaign job. Strope-Boggus filed a police report about the alleged incident a month later. Prosecutors declined to file charges.
During an interview with The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Franken denied the allegations in the report and accused Republicans of targeting him because he’s in a critical U.S. Senate race. Grassley said he is aware of the police report and Franken’s denials.
“Franken made this a campaign issue, I think, by his comments,” Grassley said, “but it’s not a campaign issue I’m going to follow up on.”
Grassley said Franken’s comments in Cedar Rapids yesterday show “total disregard” to his former campaign aide.
“Anybody running for office, those of us running are held to a very high standard and I fulfill that responsibility for transparency each day as I have to honor serving the people of Iowa,” Grassley said, “and I think Iowans deserve nothing less.”
Four hours after Grassley spoke with reporters, his campaign spokeswoman issued a written statement, saying Grassley would continue to “focus on the issues” like inflation and rising gas and grocery prices.
Michaela Sundermann added that “at the same time, until there is full transparency” about the alleged incident, it “will continue to be an issue in this campaign. Iowans deserve to make a judgment based on all the facts.”