Anthony Weiner: “Can’t say with certitude” lewd image isn’t me
Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday that he “can’t say with certitude” whether a lewd picture posted on Twitter over the weekend was not him, a comment likely to add fuel to the controversy surrounding the New York Democrat.
“My system was hacked,” said Weiner in an interview with NBC’s Luke Russert. “Pictures can be manipulated. Pictures can be dropped in and inserted.”
In a separate conversation with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Weiner again refused to say that the image wasn’t him but added: “It certainly doesn’t look familiar to me.”
Weiner did make clear that he had not sent the image to a woman named Gennette Nicole Cordova, a 21-year-old Seattle-area journalism student to whom the lewd photo was addressed.
“Sometimes a prank is just a prank,” Weiner told Blitzer.
At issue is an image posted to Weiner’s Twitter account that depicted a man’s underwear-clad groin. Weiner initially said the photo was the result of his account being hacked but over the last few days the Congressman has grown increasingly combative about the matter.
Weiner said he had asked a firm to do a “forensic examination of what happened” but did not specify the name of the company he had hired. His office said Monday that the congressman had retained an attorney following the incident.
He told Blitzer that he had not called police to investigate the matter.; “I just don’t think it’s a federal case,” Weiner said.
Weiner is considered a rising star within the Democratic party, having emerged as one of the most strident — and frequent — commentators on cable news chat shows over the last few years.
He has represented a Queens-and-Brooklyn-based district since 1998, facing only nominal Republican challenges in what is a Democratic-leaning seat.
In 2005, Weiner ran for mayor of New York City but finished second in the Democratic primary behind Bronx City Councilman Fernando Ferrer. Weiner was expected to run for mayor again in 2009 but passed on the race when Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) ran for a third term
Weiner is regarded as a leading contender for the 2013 mayoral race. “It’s the only better job than the one I have,” Weiner said of the mayorship in his interview with Blitzer.
In July 2010, Weiner married Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton presided at the wedding. In Weiner’s interview with Russert, the Congressman called his wife a “remarkable woman”.