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Trent Franks denied claim he improperly nixed woman’s job offer

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

PHOENIX — Former Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) denied inviting a woman over to his home for an interview while she was under consideration for a job working for the then-lawmaker.

According to the Washington Post, the woman, Melissa Richmond, said Franks called her and invited her over to his home “late” on a Sunday night about eight years ago.

Richmond, then 23, said Franks commented that his family wasn’t home that night and asked her to come over for “a final one-on-one interview” for a summer internship at the congressman’s office.

When she declined, Franks rescinded the internship offer, according to Richmond.

Last Friday, Franks resigned from Congress after there were reports he discussed surrogacy with at least two staffers.

In a text message to a Washington Post reporter, Franks denied the latest allegations.

“I can categorically state that I have never invited any person applying for any job in my office to be interviewed in my home,” Franks said.

When asked a follow-up question, Franks texted back, “With all due respect, my statement was unequivocal and will have to stand as my final response to the query.”

But Richmond claimed Franks put her in a situation “that felt wrong and dangerous” during the phone call and said she shouldn’t have “been penalized for refusing” the offer of Franks.

I should have marched back into the congressman’s office the next morning and demanded that they honor their offer. Or I should have gone to House leadership and made a formal report. But I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers, and, at that point, I didn’t want to work for a member who would rescind a job offer because I wouldn’t come to his house alone late at night.

Richmond is the current vice president of Running Start, a non-profit organization that helps young women run for political office.

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