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Tuesday
May312011

Rep. Weiner Gets Combative with Reporters About Lewd Twitter Photo

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Anthony Weiner’s response to the flap around a lewd photo posted from his Twitter account went from dismissive and joking over the weekend to frustrated and combative Tuesday in Washington, when the congressman became agitated with reporters and called a TV producer a “jackass.”

Weiner, D-N.Y., repeatedly refused to answer questions from reporters on Capitol Hill, calling the focus on the photo, which was sent from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old college student who followed him on the social networking site, a diversion. Weiner tweeted over the weekend that his account had been “hacked” and that led to the photo of a man’s lower half in boxer briefs being transmitted to the student. But Tuesday, the congressman and his staff would not say any more or deny that the man shown in the photo was Weiner or explain why he was following a 21-year-old college student from Washington state on the site.

And while he said he was hacked, the congressman has not asked the United States Capitol Police to conduct an investigation into the posting of the photo and whether it was his groin depicted in the photo posted on his Twitter page, @RepWeiner.

In addition to no longer taking questions about the matter, Weiner has hired a lawyer to represent him.

Gennette Cordova, the woman who received the photo from his Twitter account, meanwhile, told her story via Twitter.

When Weiner, who is known for his temper, spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday, things turned heated when he wanted to talk solely about an impending vote on raising the nation’s debt limit and would not answer their questions about the lewd photo.

“This was a prank that I’ve now been talking about for a couple of days. I’m not going to allow it to decide what I talk about for the next week or the next two weeks, and so I’m not going to be giving any more about that today, I think I’ve been pretty responsive to you in the past,” Weiner told a scrum of reporters outside his Capitol Hill office Tuesday evening. “If I were giving a speech to 45,000 people and someone in the back threw a pie or yelled an insult, I would not spend the next two hours of my speech responding to that pie or that insult. I would return the things that I want to talk about to the audience that I want to talk to, and that is what I intend to do this week.”

Reporters continued to press Weiner on why he is not asking for a formal investigation, and he was adamant that “I am not going to permit myself to be distracted by this issue any longer.”

“I’m going to have to ask that we follow some rules here. One of them is going to be you ask questions and I’ll do the answers, that seem reasonable? That be reasonable, you do the questions, I do the answers, and this jackass interrupts me?” Weiner said of CNN’s Capitol Hill producer, Ted Barrett. “How about that as the rule of the game? Let me just give the answer.”

Weiner emphasized that he prefers to “talk about the debt limit vote,” which is happening later Tuesday evening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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