Opinion: Can Anthony Weiner survive this? He admits online exchanges with a 17-year-old female
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New York Democrat Anthony Weiner maintains his refusal to resign his House seat this weekend. But that may become even more difficult with Friday’s new admission that he had exchanged private online messages with a teenage girl in Delaware.
Local police said they interviewed the high school girl Friday, and news reports said police were examining her computer.
A Weiner spokeswoman said, ‘According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent.’
Of course, according to Rep. Weiner at the start of this lewd imbroglio two weeks ago his Twitter account had been hacked, and he never sent any lewd photos or messages to anyone.
Then, last Monday with questions persisting over his prevarications, the married politician confessed that he had participated in explicit online sex with half a dozen women around the country over the last three years.
Those identified then were over age 21.
The 46-year-old New York native, who is married to Huma Abedin, who is pregnant and a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is in his seventh term in the House representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens.
About a dozen members of Congress have now called for Weiner’s resignation, which he has so far adamantly refused. Weiner has received backing, however, from fellow New York Democrat Rep. Charles Rangel, who’s had his own ethics difficulties.
Friday in San Francisco, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the departure decision should be up to Weiner and his constituents. She has asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate.
Police in New Castle, Del. have questioned the teen, whose name was not released. They said she provided no evidence of wrongdoing but their investigation was continuing.
Other news reports said the girl had first contacted Weiner after hearing him speak on a school field trip in April. He followed her back on Twitter and their exchanges began. At his public confession Weiner said, ‘I know that I never had any intention of having an interaction with underage women, and no information that I have now shows that I did.’
However, the exchanges with the teen girl occurred in April and May and, as reported by the N.Y. Times, might seem innocent enough were it not for the other revelations about Weiner’s chronic online behavior. In response to the girl’s praise for his speech, Weiner replied, ‘My true love.’
In another exchange with the girl, Weiner said, ‘I came back strong. Large. Tights and cape.’
And the high school junior replied, ‘My favorite Congressman.’
-- Andrew Malcolm
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