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Entries in Anthony Weiner (55)

Wednesday
Jun012011

Who is Anthony Weiner Following on Twitter? 

Alex Wong/ Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Democrat, who is followed by more than 49,500 constituents, fans and friends, himself only follows 198 Twitter users, according to his profile page.  Most of those are journalists, political figures, professional athletes and Hollywood stars.

But a handful of users that Weiner is following appear to belong to young, attractive women –- a fact that has raised some eyebrows.

Several of the women spoke out this morning, disavowing any contact with the congressman. 

One woman, identified as @Puccaxpink describes herself in her profile as a "nerdy/tomboyish chick but with a penchant for fashion & all things fabulous." She tweeted that she hasn't had any contact with the congressman.

"It's unfair for all the females he follows to be branded as Lolitas, which is what many articles are insinuating,” she said. 

@fermdennytraci, an "asthetician, political junkie, Obama supporter and major cat lover," tweeted Weiner directly: "U follow hubby and I. Contacted by NyTimes about a possible story. Told them we havnt had any interactions. No story."

Washington State college student Gennette Cordova, the recipient of a lewd photo posted to Weiner's Twitter account on Friday, explained that she began following Weiner after seeing him on a Fox News program two months ago.

"Actually I became a fan after I saw him demolish Bachmann on Hannity about 2 months ago," she tweeted from her account. "It was great."

Why did Weiner then turn around and "follow" Cordova back? 

He explained to reporters Tuesday that he occasionally reaches out publicly to his lengthy list of electronic friends to ask if they want to be followed.

"#WeinerYes. It should answer that question," Weiner said yesterday, referring to a message recipients could tweet back to confirm their interest.

Most recently, the congressman tweeted on May 13: "Thanks so much for following me. Would you like me to follow you? Use #WeinerYes."

Two days later, he tweeted again: "Thanks for all the #WeinerYes tweets. Now I'm #WeinerSwamped. I'm gonna do some #WeinerFollowingYou adds today."

During an increasingly heated press conference Tuesday, a frustrated Weiner raised eyebrows when he called a CNN reporter a "jackass" when he repeatedly asked Weiner if he sent the lewd picture. The congressman refused to answer the question.

When the story broke, bloggers were quick to point out how easy it is to accidentally tweet public a message a Twitter user intended to be a private, or Direct Message.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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

Tuesday
May312011

Weiner Hires Lawyer After Twitter ‘Prank’

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., has hired a lawyer after a lewd photo of an unidentified man was posted to his Twitter account and sent to a 21-year-old female college student from Seattle the politican was following on the microblogging service.

A spokesman for Weiner said the congressman is exploring "civil or criminal actions" in response to the incident, which he called a "prank." It's unclear whether the office has also requested an independent investigation.

The Twitter post, which appeared Friday night and was quickly deleted, was first reported on by conservative website Biggovernment.com. 

"I was hacked. It happens to people," Weiner told CNN Monday night. "This is a prank, not a terribly creative one, and it's a distraction."

Gennette Cordova, the alleged target of Weiner's tweet, said in a statement Sunday to the New York Daily News that even though she was a "fan" of Weiner, she has never met the congressman. For his part, Weiner has yet to explain why he was following the young woman who had been following him on Twitter.

Weiner, 46, is married to Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Internet security experts said the controversial post could have easily been done by someone with access to the congressman’s accounts.  But they also say it's plausible that an unauthorized person infiltrated the system.

"Those things get hacked the simplest ways," Alan Paller, director of the SANS Institute for Computer Security Training, said of Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

"It's either shoulder surfing, where someone stands behind you when you sign in, or they just guess," he said. "They figure out what your user name is, which is usually your name, and then they just try your wife's name, your kid's name, your wife's birthday for the password or just keep trying until they find one."

What happened in Weiner's case remains to be seen. Twitter users have pointed out since the story broke how easy it is to accidentally send public a so-called DM, or a private, user-to-user direct message.

If a hacker was responsible for the post, it wouldn't be the first time. A 25-year-old Frenchman hacked into President Obama's Twitter account last year and was later arrested. And hackers broke into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's personal email account in 2008, exposing cell phone numbers and other private information.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May302011

Weiner: Hacker Posted Lewd Photo

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Speculation continues to surround a lewd photograph sent from Congressman Anthony Weiner's Twitter account Saturday.

The photo showing a man's bulging underpants was sent to Seattle-based college student Gennette Nicole Cordova directly from the Democratic Congressman's account. The photo was taken from the waist down, and as such the face of the man in the photo was not visible.

The photo was deleted immediately.

The tweet was first reported Saturday by BigGovernment.com, a conservative run website. A spokesman for the New York representative says the tweet was perpetrated by a hacker, though offered no further explanation of how it occurred.

Weiner, D-NY, later posted a tweet referring to the "underpants post" asking whether his kitchen blender would "attack" him next.

Tweet recipient, Cordova, 21, blames an anonymous person who she says "had harassed me many times after the congressman followed me on Twitter a month or so ago," before claiming in a written statement. "There have never been any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself, including the tweet/picture in question, which had apparently been deleted before it reached me."

Given his position, hacking Weiner's account would amount to a federal crime, and the FBI would be called in to investigate. Blogger skeptics of the representative's hacking claim were quick to point out Rep. Weiner has made no announcement of any such investigation, and point instead to how easy it is to accidentally tweet to the public a message or picture that a sender meant to be a DM -- Twitter's Direct Message. Others wondered why Congressman Weiner was following a college-aged girl on Twitter to begin with.

Regardless of who is to blame for the tweet, Politico.com notes the Weiner incident further exemplifies the dwindling privacy had by politicians as a result of electronic communication.

The site cites similar instances of political careers falling victim to electronic communication mishaps. In 2008, a hacker broke into then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's email account. He was sentenced to a year in prison in November of 2010. Earlier this year, Weiner's congressional colleague Rep. Chris Lee, a Repubican, resigned amid a media firestorm that was sparked when he was found to have sent a shirtless photo to a woman he met on Craigslist.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

Congressman Weiner: Obama More Like 'Negotiator-in-Chief'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- After his behind closed doors sparring match with Vice President Biden on the tax cut deal Wednesday night, Congressman Anthony Weiner still had some fight in him Thursday morning.

“Unfortunately I think that President Obama sees the job more as negotiator-in-chief than really the leader of our country and the leader of our party,” the New York Democrat told ABC News.

Weiner conceded that there are “some good things” in the tax cut deal, but he believes it could have been better if Obama had put up more of a fight.

"We want the president to be a success, there’s no doubt about that," Weiner said.  "And that’s what separates us from the Republicans.  But I have to tell you something it’s only going to get worse for the president if he allows himself to be pushed around by this with deals like this."

Weiner added that the Democrats' "objective isn’t to necessarily block it.  We’re trying to improve it.  We’re trying to get some things included in the deal that aren’t.  We’re trying to get some things taken out.  If the idea is that, that this is a take it or leave it deal I think the president is going to realize that there are going to be a lot of Democrats who are going to be voting no."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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