Weiner seeks to move past Twitter incident

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) speaks to the U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (May 31, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

advertisement | advertise on newsday

WASHINGTON - Queens Congressman Anthony Weiner insisted Tuesday that he wanted to move on from the spectacle that has surrounded him since a lewd photo was sent from his Twitter account.

Saying the incident was distracting from his work on Capitol Hill, the colorful and sometimes combative congressman who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens was characteristically sharp tongued, refusing to answer reporters' questions about it, and even calling one a "jackass" for interrupting him.

Weiner spokesman Dave Arnold said the Democrat believes the incident was a prank. But he's retained a lawyer to advise him on what civil or criminal actions should be taken.

The photo was posted on Friday and sent to a female college student in Seattle.

It was quickly deleted, but a frenzy of coverage and comment ensued on blogs, cable news outlets and other media.

Weiner failed in a 2005 bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City, but he is still is widely considered a future contender for the office.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I'm not going to talk about this anymore," Weiner told reporters on Capitol Hill. "I think that if I was giving a speech to 45,000 people and someone stood up and heckled in the back, I wouldn't spend three days talking to him. I'm going to get back to the conversation I care about."

Weiner declined to answer reporters' questions about the photo or why he was hiring a lawyer for the case instead of having law enforcement officials pursue the matter.

Weiner was a Twitter follower of the female college student who received the photo.

The tweet of the lewd photo first was reported Saturday by BigGovernment.com, a website run by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart.

The site said the photo was tweeted to a female college student in Seattle. The woman told the New York Daily News that she had never met Weiner, and that there had "never been any inappropriate exchanges" between her and the congressman.

@Newsday

Weiner, 46, is married to Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The congressman over the weekend joked about the incident on Twitter, asking whether his kitchen blender would be next to "attack" him.

You also may be interested in: