Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), besieged by reporters after a vote in Congress, repeatedly evaded questions on whether a lewd photo on his Twitter feed, which he says was hacked, depicted his own body. Along the way he made many, many double entendres.
Asked how he could be unsure whether the photo was of him, he said he had a specialist looking into the issue to see whether it was genuine. But he declined to answer a reporter’s follow up on whether there are similar photos of him in existence.
“This is part of the problem with the way this has progressed and one of the reasons I was perhaps, you’ll forgive me, a little stiff yesterday,” he said.
After another reporter pressed him on the issue, he mockingly took the question in the most broad sense.
“There are photographs of me in the world, yes,” he said. “I’m trying to draw a line here because I don’t want this to get further.”
TPM asked whether — following his logic — it was possible he was hacked, someone used his information to obtain a legitimate photo of him, and then posted it with the intention of embarrassing. He didn’t rule out the idea.
“Let me say the parts we know for sure,” he said. “We know for sure I didn’t send this photograph, we know for sure that someone did, we know for sure one of my followers names was inserted, we know for sure now she’s put out a statement she doesn’t know me, I certainly don’t know her, I don’t really know her connection to this but her statement speakers for itself.”
He added that he was tweeting about a hockey game at the time of the photo’s posting, quickly deleted it as soon as he saw it, and that his Facebook account had been hacked in the past.
“The things might be connected, I’ve asked a firm to look into what might be going on and what might not.”
Weiner said that he had not referred the hacking accusation to the Capitol police or federal authorities because he didn’t consider it a serious crime.
“This was a prank intended to derail me or distract me or whatever it is. It is not a federal case,” he said. “Now maybe it will turn out, forgive me, that this is the point of al-Qaeda’s sword, and that this is the effort — this is where it’s going to begin. And I’ve asked Internet security firm to take a look at my private Internet feed, at my private Twitter feed.”
He told reporters he made a “big mistake” Tuesday in shunning their questions on the issue by being “bound and determined not to let this prank become what I talked about for four more days.”
“Now I made a mistake yesterday, because I should have realized that for many of you, you didn’t get a chance to ask those basic foundational questions, but I have to make a decision at some point, and maybe you’ll help me do this, where I say you know what, having some poor person who happened to have followed me be visited by reporters, that’s enough for me,” he said. “At some point I have to draw a line, and I’m going to draw that line now.”
The Congressman is doing interviews with CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News to discuss the matter.
“I’m doing them in order of….something,” he told reporters.
“Size,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said, interrupting him from nearby.
“That’s what I didn’t need right now,” Weiner replied.