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Friday
Jun102011

Police Visit Home of Minor Who Communicated with Weiner

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del.) -- ABC News has learned more about Congressman Anthony Weiner's online contacts.

Police in New Castle County, Del. visited the home of a 17-year-old girl who was one of Weiner's followers on Twitter who boasted that she has communicated with the congressman online.

It remains unclear who called the police, or exactly why they were there.  But Weiner's newly hired spokeswoman told ABC News in a statement, "According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun092011

Alleged New Photo of Rep. Weiner Emerges Amid Calls for Ouster

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As an increasing number of his fellow Democrats have been calling for his ouster, Rep. Anthony Weiner is dealing with the aftermath of his online sexting scandal, including news that an alleged nude photo of the Democratic congressman has hit the Internet.

Meanwhile, the public learned that Weiner's wife is three months pregnant with their first child.

The alleged nude image of Weiner emerged after conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart appeared on the Sirius XM program The Opie and Anthony Show, where he claimed on air that he had a nude picture of the congressman on his cellphone.  Breitbart said that Weiner has sent the image to one of the women that he corresponded with online. An image of the picture was captured -- apparently without Breitbart's consent and knowledge -- by a camera in the Opie and Anthony studio, and quickly hit the Internet -- something the blogger subsequently said he was "mortified" to discover.

Weiner confessed Monday to lying about sending a photo of his crotch via Twitter to 21-year-old Seattle college student Gennette Cordova and five other women over the past three years.  He also has admitted that he sent explicit photos over the Internet.

So far, the only confirmed photos that have emerged from the scandal of the 46-year-old congressman show him clothed or shirtless.

The website Gawker eventually posted the image from Breitbart's phone Wednesday.  ABC News has not independently confirmed that the photo in question is of Rep. Weiner.

Reports also emerged on Wednesday that Weiner's wife of 11 months, Huma Abedin, is in the early stages of her first pregnancy.

Though Abedin, 35, is reportedly devastated by her husband's admission of risque online chats and photo swaps with other women, she's reportedly told friends she is still committed to the marriage and wants to help Weiner salvage his political career.

Friends say that Abedin, who is a top aide to Hillary Clinton, did know that Weiner had a "problem" before their marriage, but he promised he was past that.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun082011

Rep. Weiner Standing His Ground Amidst Calls to Resign

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Pressure is mounting on Rep. Anthony Weiner to step down after his confession that he had been sending lewd photos of himself and texts to women via Twitter -- and that he has lied about it.

The New York Democrat is finding few who are willing to publicly come to his defense, even in his own party.

"Lying is unforgivable.  Lying publicly about something like this is unforgivable and he should resign," former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, D-Va., told CBS on Tuesday.

"I know Congressman Weiner.  And I wish there was some way I could defend him -- but I can't," Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.  Reid added that if Weiner called him for advice, he'd tell him to "call someone else."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's call for an ethics committee investigation is not satisfying some Republicans who are calling for an immediate resignation.

Weiner, however, maintains that he will hang onto his job as U.S. Representative for New York's 9th congressional district.

"I am not resigning," a defiant Weiner said told reporters in Queens, New York Tuesday evening.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus became the first official to call on Weiner to resign after Weiner's mea culpa press conference on Monday.

"Congressman Weiner's actions and deception are unacceptable and he should resign.  We do not need an investigation to know he lied and acted inappropriately, we need a resignation," Priebus said in a written statement.

"Either Leader Pelosi and DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz believe members of Congress are held to a different set of standards or they believe these actions demand his resignation," he added.

Although Weiner's actions would be considered by many to be lewd and inappropriate, the major question for the ethics committee is whether he broke the rules of the House of Representatives.

Blake Chisam, former staff director of the ethics committee, says that if Weiner used his government computer to send the messages, he could be in trouble, even though some incidental personal use is permitted.

"You know the rules in the House can often be a labyrinth," Chisam told ABC News, adding that the questions of whether sending pornography or lewd photographs will be difficult to argue as "incidental."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun072011

Will Anthony Weiner's Wife Huma Abedin Stand by Him?

Dimitrios Kambouris/VF11/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Confessions from New York Rep. Anthony Weiner that he lied about sexting photos to a Seattle woman and at least five others over the past three years have shaken his barely 11-month marriage to Huma Abedin.

Abedin is a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The 34-year-old has endured humiliating headlines in The New York Post -- "ballooning scandal," "Hide the Weiner" and "What a Weenie" -- after word got out that a 21-year-old Gennette Cordova had received the now-infamous photo of a man's crotch from the congressman's Twitter account.

In a tear-stained, half-hour press conference Monday, the Democratic congressman said his wife would stand by him, despite the week-old scandal dubbed "Weinergate."

"We have no intention of splitting over this," said Weiner, 46, who will not resign.  "We will weather this.  I love her.  She loves me."

He said that he had told his wife about contact with women before their marriage, but not about recent ventures online, including one with single mom Meagan Broussard.  Weiner said he has never met these women in person and has not had sex outside marriage.

Abedin only learned the truth Monday and didn't show up for the press conference.

The couple -- with some irony noted by pundits -- was married last July by former President Bill Clinton, who was himself impeached by the House of Representatives in 1998 over an affair with Monica Lewinsky.  When he officiated at the Long Island ceremony, Bill Clinton reportedly toasted Abedin, saying she was like a daughter to him.

Hillary Clinton weathered the same public humiliation when her husband was unfaithful with a White House intern, yet chose to stand by her man.

Whether Abedin takes Clinton's path or ultimately leaves Weiner is anyone's guess.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun072011

Rep. Anthony Weiner's Sexting Scandal: Why Did He Do It?

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission that he tweeted and Facebook-messaged inappropriate photos of himself to at least six women is the latest sexting scandal among politicians and public figures.

From NFL quarterback Brett Favre to disgraced Rep. Christopher Lee, Weiner had plenty of examples of what happens when you get caught.  So why did he do it?

"If you're looking for some kind of deep explanation, I simply don't have one," Weiner said at a press conference Monday afternoon.  "This was just me doing a dumb thing, doing it repeatedly and then lying about it."

Weiner didn't have an answer, but therapists do.

"Adults, particularly those in positions of power like politicians, sext because they want even more power," said Bethany Marshall, a marriage and family therapist in Beverly Hills, California.  "They want reassurance, they want the sexual stimulation, they want to think of themselves as sexually desirable."

Marshall said that sexting, once a teen phenomenon, has grown into an adult problem, leaving spouses questioning their husbands and wives.  Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, have been married only a year.

Choking back tears, Weiner talked about his wife's reaction.

"My primary sense of regret, my primary apology, goes to my wife," he said.

Weiner admitted to lying to his wife, his staff and the public about a photo of his crotch that was tweeted from his account on May 27.

"They [politicians] have an insatiable need to feel wanted and desired and when they sext, sometimes it is to coerce a response from the woman," Marshall said.  "They sext the pictures of themselves with the fantasy that they are particularly desirable and then on top of it, they don't think they are going to be caught."

When the scandal first broke, Weiner said his account had been hacked.  Now he admits that he tweeted the photo, intending for it to be a direct message.

"I have made terrible mistakes.  I have hurt the people I care about the most and I am deeply sorry," Weiner said.  "I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations. ...I have engaged six women over the past three years."

Weiner specified that he never had sex with these women and that some of these relationships began before his marriage.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

Anthony Weiner Twitter Pic Posted Via Security Loophole?

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Did a security loophole allow easy posting to Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account without actually having to log in as him?

That’s a theory that was circulating widely online Thursday, and Weiner’s defenders say it explains how a photo of a bulging male crotch area appeared on the congressman's Twitter feed last Friday night without his knowledge.

"I did not send that photo.  My system was hacked.  I was pranked," Weiner told ABC News Wednesday.

Screen grabs of Weiner’s Twitter page show the lewd image appeared in a posting via the photo sharing service yfrog.com, which is linked to Twitter.

Several technology experts and bloggers have pointed out that one way to get a photo quickly posted to yfrog and Twitter is by sending the photo to a special email address associated with the accounts. 

In theory, someone who simply knew Weiner’s yfrog email address could have emailed the photo, which in turn would have been simultaneously uploaded to both his yfrog and Twitter accounts -- all without ever being prompted for a password or permission.

ABC News tried to replicate the process itself, but discovered yfrog has disabled email posting service -- a sign that some say suggests the company has identified a security problem.

“Even though our email upload feature has not been compromised or broken into, we are taking this opportunity to evaluate the feature and secure it even further,” the company explained in a statement.

Skeptics of the theory say Weiner’s unique yfrog address could only have been known by someone close to Weiner, or that it could have been used by Weiner himself.  They also point out the theory fails to resolve whether Weiner is the subject in the photo.

"I'm reluctant to say anything definitively about this because I don't know to what extent our system was hacked," Weiner said when pressed to answer whether or not the man in gray boxer briefs is him. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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

Wednesday
Jun012011

Exclusive: Weiner Denies Tweeting Lewd Photo, But Is It Him?

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A defiant Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York told ABC News he did not post a lewd photograph to his Twitter account Friday -- but he could not say whether or not the photograph in question is of him.

"I did not send that photo. My system was hacked. I was pranked," Weiner said. "Somebody sent a picture of a weiner from Weiner's account. I've been hearing that joke since I was five."

But is the photograph -- a close-up of a man's underwear -- a photograph of Anthony Weiner?

"I'm reluctant to say anything definitively about this because I don't know to what extent our system was hacked," he said.

Weiner said he has hired a law firm to look into the incident and advise him on whether to notify a law enforcement agency. The firm has also retained a private Internet security company to investigate the circumstances of the hoax further, he said.

"We are going to try to find the source of the photograph," Weiner said, adding that he doesn't know if it was manipulated or something taken off -- or placed on -- his computer system.

When pressed to explain why an alleged incident of computer hacking against a member of Congress shouldn't be reported to authorities, Weiner dismissed the idea as unnecessary.

"You know, we're not treating this like it's a federal offense or a capital offense crime," he said. "It happens hundreds of thousands of time every single day."

At one point, Weiner suggested he was saving taxpayer money by not calling for an investigation into such a trivial matter.

Weiner also revealed that his Facebook account was simultaneously "hacked" on Friday night, as he suggested in a tweet at the time. Asked if the Facebook hacking included the posting or sending of anything inappropriate, Weiner would not answer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun012011

Anthony Weiner Can't Say 'with Certitude’ Lewd Twitter Photo Is Not Him

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York says he "cannot say with certitude" that the photo of a man in gray boxer briefs that was posted to his Twitter account Friday night is not him.

But Weiner, 46, reiterated in an interview with MSNBC's Luke Russert that he did not deliberately send the image over the public social media network, and that his account was "hacked."

“This wasn’t my government account. We don’t know what happened here. It was a prank. It wasn’t a national security thing,” he said.

Weiner said he has hired a private security firm to investigate the incident. When asked why he didn't notify authorities, he said, "I'm not sure it rises -- no pun intended -- to that level."

The lewd image in question, directed at a 21-year-old female college student who followed Weiner on Twitter, was first reported by the conservative blog Biggovernment.com. Over the weekend, Weiner dismissed the incident as a political stunt.

During the interview Wednesday, Weiner pushed back against suggestions that a handful of young women he followed on Twitter indicated impropriety.  

"The people I follow -– it’s fairly random," he said. "The way I did it recently, I said to people, 'If you’d like me to follow you, [tweet me] #WeinerYes.' Sometimes people say, 'Anthony follow me.'"

"Just because we’re a network of 45,000 people I don’t think people should draw suppositions that I know any of these people in any sense," he said. "People simply don’t understand that you form networks with people to get more followers."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun012011

Anthony Weiner's Twitter Scandal: 'He Got Hacked,' DCCC Chair Says

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rep. Steve Israel, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, seemingly stood by Rep. Anthony Weiner's claim that his account was hacked when a lewd photo was sent from his Twitter handle to a college student. But he wouldn't comment on whether his fellow New York congressman should resign.

"I think he took the appropriate steps in hiring a lawyer," Israel said Wednesday at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

"He got hacked. He got a lawyer," Israel added. "And I think he should listen carefully to what his lawyers say."

The New York congressman wouldn't comment on whether Weiner should resign orabout  his heated press conference Tuesday; Israel maintains he hadn't seen it.

Weiner hired a lawyer over the weekend but has not asked for a formal investigation from the Capitol police -- despite the fact that if a hacker was indeed responsible for the picture being sent it would constitute a federal crime, as Weiner is a member of Congress.

"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," an increasingly irritated Weiner said Tuesday. "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."

Weiner became increasingly irritated as the questions continued about the scandal, refusing to answer why he was following the college-aged Twitter user who received the lewd picture -- even calling a CNN reporter a "jackass" for asking him about the situation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio