Just what is it with New York and men sexting photos of themselves? Although Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., has denied he sent a lewd Twitter photo of himself to a 21-year-old woman, he told reporters at a news conference today that he could not say for certain that the person in the photo was not him. His comments were markedly different than the combative Weiner that angrily refused to discuss the growing scandal on Tuesday.
Weiner said he believed that his Twitter account had been hacked and that someone had played a prank on him. He even joked about the situation, using double entendres to get his point across. According to the Associated Press, he joked the situation "didn't rise" to the level of a federal investigation and that maybe the alleged hacking was "the point of al-Qaida's sword."
Weiner also told MSNBC on Tuesday evening that he didn't send the photo and that it was the work of a hacker. He said he had retained a lawyer and a private investigation firm to look into the matter.
The photo was originally posted on Friday. It was transmitted to a young female college student in Seattle. Although quickly deleted, the photo depicting a man in bulging underpants soon was the center of discussion on the Internet, in social media, and cable news networks.
Who got the scoop? It seems that the lewd Twitter photo first was reported by BigGovernment.com, a website run by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, on Saturday.
Weiner's scandal comes not four months after Rep. Chris Lee, who represented New York's 26th district, resigned within hours after a bare-chested photo of the Congressman appeared on Gawker. The married legislator had apparently sent the photo to a woman he met via the "Women Seeking Men" forum on Craigslist.
But New York politicians aren't the only ones caught up in sexting scandals. Brett Favre was accused of sending actual photos of his penis to a sideline reporter for the Jets when he played for the team in 2008. Although he denied sending the photos, several voice mails and emails were revealed when Deadspin posted the story. Favre and Jenn Sterger, the recipient of the lewd photos, settled the matter with the NFL in late 2010.
Anthony Weiner, 46, is married to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin.
He was also a follower of the college student who received the photo, according to the Associated Press. The student told the New York Daily News that she had never met the Congressman and that nothing inappropriate had ever occurred between them.