Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner is consulting with his lawyers after it was reported that the New York congressman sent a racy photo to a female college student from Seattle via Twitter.
“We’ve retained counsel to explore the proper next steps and to advise us on what civil or criminal actions should be taken,” Weiner spokesman Dave Arnold told The Daily Caller in an email. “This was a prank. We are loath to treat it as more, but we are relying on professional advice.”
Weiner has claimed that his Facebook account was hacked and that, while the photo did appear on his Twitter feed, he did not send it. The photo shows a man’s erect penis outlined in a pair of tight boxer briefs. The photo was first published by Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.
The photo was quickly deleted along with all the other photos on the congressman’s yFrog account.
Unlike a shirtless photo of former Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY), which resulted in his resignation, skeptics have doubted the authenticity of the so-called “Weinergate” image.
An analysis of a screenshot of the congressman’s yFrog account, which was published by BigGovernment, shows the image was manipulated, according to the progressive blog DailyKos. The screenshot was allegedly altered to make it appear that the racy photo was associated with Rep. Weiner’s account. Another DailyKos blogger has suggested that nearly the entire incident was fabricated by a conservative Twitter user.
Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa noted that the phone data on Weiners’ previous yFrog images does not match the data of the racy photo. “Not conclusive evidence, but puts relative suspicious about the validity of tying the image directly to Anthony Weiner’s phone,” he said.
Mediaite’s “resident expert” Philip Bump added that the current evidence did suggest that the congressman was the victim of a hack, but there was little to no evidence to suggest that contributors to Breitbart’s websites fabricated the lewd image.
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