How’s this for “certitude”: Rep. Anthony Weiner was the man in the now infamous Twitter crotch shot but he is not resigning from Congress.
The New York Democrat made the announcement at a hastily-called press conference Monday afternoon, only hours after a conservative website began posting a series of potentially embarrassing photos that it said proved that Weiner had carried on an “online, consensual relationship” with a woman who was not his wife.
Weiner said that he had not yet seen those photos, but nonetheless admitted to a half dozen online relationships over the past three years. The congressman maintained that none of those interactions included a physical relationship, but he did concede that more than one occurred after he married his wife.
“I’m here to accept responsibility for some very dumb decisions,” Weiner said.
Still, the New York lawmaker stressed that he would not be resigning from Congress, as some had speculated he might. “I don’t think I did anything that violates any law or any rule,” he said, adding that the photos were not taken or sent from government computers.
Weiner’s admissions were nearly upstaged by Andrew Breitbart, the conservative activist who posted the new Weiner photos earlier in the day.
Shortly before the congressman was scheduled to take the stage, Breitbart mounted the podium to answer questions about the latest round of photos. But the back-and-forth with reporters quickly grew combative, with Breitbart demanding an apology from the media for attacking the credibility of his websites’ reporting on the Weiner Twitter scandal, as well as past controversial stories about ACORN and NPR.
“Everything we’ve reported about this story has been true,” he said.
Breitbart also maintained that he still has at least one more photo of Weiner that he has yet to post to his site because of its graphic nature. “I’m doing this to save his family,” Breitbart said.
Breitbart began posting the photos – including one of a shirtless man – late Monday morning, promising they would undercut Weiner’s claim that the Twitter crotch shot heard around the Beltway and beyond was nothing more than an Internet prank.
Breitbart teased the photos in an early morning post on his Big Government website before slowly rolling them out throughout the day in a bid to drum up online interest in the latest episode of "Weiner-gate." But the story didn't appear to reach critical mass until later in the day, once news broke that ABC News had interviewed a woman who appeared to be the same one that Breitbart had, and was preparing to broadcast her identity and her story.
Shortly after Weiner’s press conference wrapped up, ABC News published a story about one of the women who carried on an online relationship with Weiner.
Here's the shirtless photo that may have been the tipping point:
And video of Weiner taking "full responsibility":
Original Post at 2:04 p.m.: Things are about to get a whole lot more uncomfortable for Rep. Anthony Weiner.
On Monday, conservative activist Andrew Breitbart began posting online photos—including one of a shirtless man—that he says undercuts Weiner’s claim that the Twitter crotch shot heard around the Beltway and beyond was nothing more than an Internet prank.
The third, however, wasn’t so tame: It’s a photo of a shirtless man that Breitbart claims Weiner sent to an unidentified woman with whom he was having an “an online, consensual relationship involving the mutual exchange of intimate photographs.”
According to Breitbart, the photo "was allegedly sent to the young woman on Friday, May 20, 2011 via a Yahoo! email address that she claims was an alternate alias for Rep. Weiner."
The photo in question doesn’t show all of the shirtless man’s face, but the lower half does appear to resemble Weiner’s. Breitbart says his claim is further supported by an array of framed photographs in the background that includes a photo of (a clothed) Weiner posing with Bill Clinton.
Breitbart also claims that a "Google search for the email address Rep. Weiner allegedly used on that occasion yields an invisible Yahoo! profile with images that appear to be a repository for some of Rep. Weiner’s personal photographs." [Although it is important to note that Breitbart doesn't provide the email address to allow for independent verification. You can view the alleged repository here.]
Breitbart says the photos he has posted were provided by an unidentified woman who has a “cache of intimate photos and online communications” between her and the New York Democrat.
The photos will raise plenty of more questions for Weiner, who has been struggling to explain how a photo of an underwear-clad crotch was sent from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old college student in Seattle. Weiner’s most damning admission so far has been that he can’t say with “certitude” that he wasn’t the man featured in the graphic photo.
The first photo Breitbart published Monday was of Weiner holding up a piece of paper with the word “me” and an arrow pointing to his face. Breitbart says that the woman alleges that Weiner sent the photograph early last month after she asked him “to confirm that he was taking photographs contemporaneously, in conjunction with their apparent online communications.”
The second photo shows Weiner with two house cats in the background. According to Breitbart, that photo was also sent earlier this month and came in an email with the subject line: “Me and the pussys.”
Breitbart’s take on what the alleged cache of intimate photos means: “The detailed new information suggests that the Brooklyn- and Queens-based representative and the young woman in question were involved in an online, consensual relationship involving the mutual exchange of intimate photographs.”
Breitbart also promises to post more photos throughout the day, along with “timelines, and other clarifying details.” However, he notes that he “will not be releasing all of the material because some of it is of an extreme, graphic nature.”