At a press conference this afternoon, Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted that he sent the Tweeted photograph in question last week and "intended it as a joke." But when his direct Tweet went public, he panicked. Weiner said his actions were "deeply, deeply hurtful to the people I care about most" and that he has both, before and after his marriage, partaken in "explicit conversations"—with photographs—with women on the Internet. But he maintains that he did not engage in any physical relations with them. Weiner says he will not be resigning.
"To be clear," he said, "the picture was of me and I sent it." Weiner says that conversations he has had with these women online were "a very dumb thing to do. And it was a destructive thing to do. But it wasn't any part of a plan to hurt my life. Or to be deceitful to [the public]. It wasn't part of a plan...if you are looking for some sort of deep explanation for it I don't have one for you."
"I love my wife very much," he said. "We have been through a lot and we will weather this. I love her very much and she loves me." Weiner was married to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "body woman" Huma Abedin last July. She apparently had known about some of these relationships for some time, though she didn't know that he sent the infamous Tweet in question until this morning.
While wiping his tears, after his statement, Weiner said he would take questions from the press. He does not believe he used any government resources. "I was embarrassed, I was humiliated, I was trying to protect myself and my wife from shame." He added, "I love my wife very much," and they have no plans to break up. Weiner also would not address the 2013 mayoral election and simply said he needs to make sure this never needs to happen.
Weiner spoke briefly to Nancy Pelosi this morning, who was not happy with the news but told him to be truthful. "She made very clear that she thought what I had done was very dumb, but she also told me that she loves me and to pull through this."
"I have never met any of these women," Weiner reiterated, but will not acknowledge—for the sake of the women in question—whether or not he had phone sex with them. Further he doesn't "know any of the ages of the women" he said, but he believes that they were all adults.
"I don't see anything I did that violated any rules of the house or my oath of office," he said. "I engaged in inappropriate conversations with people that included photographs, but I don't think I broke any rules."
"I lied because I was embarrassed. I lied because I was ashamed and didn't want to get caught. But did I violate the constitution? I don't think I did."
"I'm going to go back to work," the Congressman says but that he wouldn't "begrudge" any voters who might not trust his judgement going forward.
The press finally conference came to a close after one reporter asked, regarding the bulging yfrog photo, "were you fully erect, or were you capable of more?"