Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., waits for an elevator near his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP)

"I didn't send the picture ..."

... and 23 other explicit lies told by Anthony Weiner over the course of the 10-day Weinergate scandal


Emma Mustich
June 7, 2011 1:40AM (UTC)

Rep. Anthony Weiner finally confessed Monday that he had "not been honest" about that crotch-shot tweet that we know now was the real Weiner: "This was a picture of me, and I sent it." How dramatic a turnaround was this admission? Count along with us as we add up 24  particularly bold claims from the Congressmen over the course of the 10-day scandal: 

Several hours after the crotch-shot tweet was sent -- at 12:54 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 28 -- @RepWeiner tweeted:

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Tivo shot. FB hacked. [1] Is my blender gonna attack me next? #TheToasterIsVeryLoyal.

At 5:08 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 28, Weiner tweeted:

Touche Prof Moriarity. More Weiner Jokes for all my guests! #Hacked! [2]

At around 7 p.m. ET on Monday, May 30, CNN ran Weiner's first televised statement following the Friday night tweet.

This is a prank [3]-- not a terribly creative one -- and it's a distraction. I was hacked. [4] It happens to people; you move on.

On Tuesday, May 31, Weiner's spokesman wrote the following in an e-mail to the Daily Caller:

We've retained counsel to explore the proper next steps and to advise us on what civil or criminal actions should be taken. This was a prank. [5] We are loath to treat it as more, but we are relying on professional advice.

Also on Tuesday, Weiner gave a seven-minute press conference in Washington, in which he repeatedly refused to answer reporters who asked whether or not he had sent the offending tweet. Instead of giving a yes or no answer, he rambled:

This was a prank [6] that I’ve now been talking about for a couple of days. I’m not going to allow it to decide what I talk about for the next week or the next two weeks, and so I’m not going to be giving anything more about that today. I think I’ve been pretty responsive to you in the past. ... If I were giving a speech to 45,000 people and someone in the back of the room threw a pie or yelled out an insult, I would not spend the next two hours of my speech responding to that pie or that insult. I would return to what I want to talk about to the audience that I want to talk to.

In an interview with MSNBC's Luke Russert on Wednesday, June 1, Weiner said categorically that he had not sent the obscene Twitter picture. "I didn't send that picture out,"[7] he insisted, adding:

We don't know for sure what happened here [8] . ... This is a circumstance where someone committed a prank on the internet [9], spoofed me [10], made fun of me [11], whatever [12]. We’re taking it seriously in as much as we want to make sure it doesn’t happen again [13]. ... It is not a national security thing -- I’m not sure I want to put national federal resources into trying to figure out who posted a picture on Weiner’s website [14] of whatever. I’m not really sure it rises, no pun intended, to that level.

When asked if the photo was a picture of him, however, he replied with the now-famous words: "I can't say with certitude." [15]

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In another interview on Wednesday -- this time with CNN's Wolf Blitzer -- Weiner repeated the assertion that he had not tweeted the photograph. Blitzer questioned Weiner's earlier claim that he couldn't "tell with certitude" [16] whether or not he was in the photograph, demanding of the senator: "You would know if this was your underpants, for example." Weiner replied: 

It certainly doesn't look familiar to me [17]... I didn't send any Twitter picture [18]. ... I was literally there tweeting about hockey, and I see this thing pop up. I immediately delete it.

In a final televised interview Wednesday, Weiner again claimed -- this time to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow -- that he didn't send the picture, and didn't know who did or "what they intended to do":

It seems like what happened was someone somehow got access to my Twitter account [19] and tweeted a joke [20], I guess. You know, when your name is Weiner, you get some of those sometimes. ... I didn't send the picture [21]; I don't know who did and what they intended to do [22]. ... What this appears to be is probably what it is: someone making fun of my name, someone trying to cause trouble for me [23]. ... It's a much more successful hack [24] than I think anyone who did it could have even imagined, because it's gotten so much oxygen.

Weiner's calm, breezy command of his story is particularly notable in his interview with Blitzer. You can watch it in full here:


Emma Mustich

Emma Mustich is a Salon contributor. Follow her on Twitter: @emustich.

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Anthony Weiner, D-n.y. War Room

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