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Thursday
Jun022011

Nancy Pelosi, House Dems Cool on Anthony Weiner Twitter 'Prank'

Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Anthony Weiner first insisted he was the victim of a hacker, then days later a prankster, when a lewd photo of a man's crotch was posted publicly to his Twitter account Friday. But he doesn't have many colleagues -- who presumably face similar risks from operating social media accounts -- rallying to his side as the scandal plays out.

"I'm a late-comer to the issue, but I'm sure, I have confidence in Anthony Weiner that if an investigation is in order that will take place," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told ABC News on Wednesday.

Rep. Steve Israel, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, would only say Weiner has taken "appropriate steps" to address the alleged prank, when asked about the situation by reporters. "He got a lawyer" and "I think he should listen carefully to what his lawyers say," he said.

Former New York City Mayor and U.S. Rep. Ed Koch, a Democrat, said of Weiner Wednesday night on NY1, "I think he's in trouble…I think he has a problem."

Weiner, a media-savvy figure who is popular among liberals nationwide, would face reelection in 2012 and a possible bid for New York City mayor in 2013.  How Weiner handles the ongoing controversy could become a factor in future campaigns.

For now, many Democrats on Capitol Hill just want the issue to go away, and some Republicans seem loathe to let Weiner off the hook. 

"I think the American people are sick of seeing their elected officials tied up in scandals like this," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Thusday in an appearance on Fox and Friends.

His advice for Weiner?  "Come clean and clean it up," Cantor said.

Weiner has said he did not send the controversial photo over Twitter on Friday night and that he was "pranked." But he will neither confirm nor deny that the image in question is of him.

"I'm reluctant to say anything definitively about this because I don't know to what extent our system was hacked," Weiner told ABC News. 

Some skeptics have expressed curiosity that Weiner would hesitate to contact the authorities -- as given his position, hacking his accounts would count as a federal crime -- and speculate that's why Weiner has been favoring "hoax" over "hack" in his most recent interviews.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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