Rep. Anthony Weiner’s confrontational exchange with a CNN reporter and producer over a lewd Twitter photo deserves some sort of spot in a pantheon devoted to clashes between reporters and politicians.
Weiner, a Democrat from New York, is facing questions about how a lewd photo directed to a 21-year-old college student in Seattle ended up posted in his Twitter stream. Weiner initially claimed that his account was hacked. Later, he called it a “prank.”
But Tuesday, it was clear that Weiner was no longer interested in saying anything more about the matter. And the more that CNN reporter Dana Bash and her producer Ted Barrett pushed, the more animated Weiner became -- especially when asked, over and over again, to deny whether he had sent the photo, a crotch-level shot of a man in underwear. He was also asked repeatedly why he had not asked the police or the FBI to investigate the matter.
“You want to do the briefing?” Weiner snapped at one point to Barrett. “Why don’t you let me do the answers and you do the questions?”
He then tried to change the subject, telling the gathered press that he had now passed Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota in number of Twitter followers.
Finally he called Barrett, who continued to press him on the subject, a “jackass.”
The student, Gennette Cordova, has denied any relationship with or ever meeting Weiner, who is married to a Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Watch the exchange here:
Also, the brouhaha seemed teed-up for Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” host did not disappoint Tuesday night. “Weiner name. Weiner picture. Where’s my check?” he joked.
But he defended Weiner, a friend, saying he doubted that the photo was his. He also criticized CNN for giving conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart a platform to launch unsubstantiated allegations at the congressman. Watch: