Politics Today: The "Rep. Anthony Weiner Admits He Tweeted Lewd Pics" Edition
"I take full responsibility for my actions," The New York congressman said. "The picture was of me, and I sent it."
Weiner also tearfully admitted that he was "deeply ashamed of my terrible actions."
After the photo surfaced, Weiner claimed his account had been hacked and even went so far as to hire an attorney to pursue possible civil or criminal charges.
Weiner's admission Monday followed the release of several new photographs purported to be of a shirtless Weiner that were posted on one of conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's websites.
According to biggovernment.com: "The array of images behind the shirtless congressman include several apparently identifying portraits, including a photograph that appears to be of Rep. Weiner with former President Bill Clinton (at above right, behind the left shoulder)."
Breitbart also claimed to have a photo that is "extremely graphic, and leaves nothing to the imagination."
Weiner also admitted Monday to carrying on "inappropriate" electronic relationships with six women over a period of three years.
One of those woman was allegedly Megan Broussard. ABC News reported: "Broussard, a 26-year-old single mother from Texas who provided dozens of photos, emails, Facebook messages and cell phone call logs that she says chronicle a sexually-charged electronic relationship with Weiner that rapidly-evolved for more than a month, starting on April 20, 2011."
Broussard said she shared her experience with several friends, including a man with Republican political ties. It was he, she said, who encouraged her to share the story with Breitbart or Matt Drudge. Broussard declined to identify her male friend.
According to CNN, Weiner said he met all of the women online, mostly through Facebook. He also said he never met any of the woman in person.
The Huffington Post reported that at least some close to the congressman are stunned by his admission, arguing last week that Weiner was too smart to do the thing of which he had been accused:
“Well, apparently he wasn’t,” one told The Huffington Post.
Another said keeping his job may be the least of his worries.
“Forget staying in office. He’s going to get divorced," the person said.
Among those Weiner apologized to at his press conference on Monday was his wife of one-year, Huma Abedin. Abedin was not in attendance, but Weiner said the pair planned to stay together.
"We will weather this," he said. "I love her very much and she loves me."
ABC News said Abedin joins a "list of women who have shown fierce loyalty, even in the face of betrayal." Among those on the list--Abedin's boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The former first lady famously stayed with Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky affair scandal.
Abedin serves as an aide to Clinton.
So what does this all mean for Weiner's political future? For the moment, at least, nothing, but the future may be more uncertain. CNN reported:
Two Democratic sources said that Weiner, in a brief telephone conversation Monday with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, made it abundantly clear that he was not going to resign. At his press conference later that day, the New York Democrat said that Pelosi was "not happy" but "also told me that she loved me and wanted us to ... pull through this."
Pelosi, D-California, who until last January was House speaker, reacted by calling for the chamber's Ethics Commission to open an investigation into the seven-term congressman "to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred."
Such a probe is rare, especially when called by a member of one's own party, the Democratic sources said.
At the heart of the investigation will most likely be whether Weiner used congressional resources while contacting the women.
Weiner said in a statement that he would "welcome and will fully cooperate with an investigation by the House Ethics Committee."