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Amid a wave of new evidence about admittedly “shameful” behavior, Congressman Anthony Weiner appeared in front of reporters Monday in New York City to admit he lied about sending sexually suggestive photos over the Internet to various women.
In a bizarre twist, Andrew Breitbart, whose websites first broke the story of Rep. Weiner, D-NY, tweeting a photo of himself in his underwear to a college girl, took the podium several minutes ahead of Weiner at the press conference.
Breitbart, whose reporting has been called into question on CNN, MSNBC and other news outlets, said he “went to the podium because a gaggle of press people asked me.” He challenged the reporters to name a lie he has told in his coverage of Weiner.
“I want to hear the truth from Congressman Weiner and quite frankly I would like an apology for him being complicit in a blame-the-messenger strategy,” Breitbart said.
“I’m being accused of being the hacker against a congressman. He said nothing. He allowed for that to go. His minions perpetuated that false, malicious meme and then he went on CNN to attack me.” (Video is below).
Curiously, CNN’s coverage of this rather entertaining portion of the press conference consisted entirely of video of Breitbart speaking to the crowd but audio of two CNN reporters taling over him and describing the scene as “surreal.” Breitbart’s comments were reported by the CNN broadcasters, but an anchor said, “we’re not gonna take the sound.”
“With all due respect, why should we believe your story?” a reporter asked Breitbart while he was at the podium.
“Everything I’ve said so far has come to be true,” he answered. “The media says ‘Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies, Breitbart lies.’ Give me one example of a provable lie. One. One. Journalists? One. Put your reputation on the line here.”
Soon afterwards, Weiner took the podium and announced “I lied.”
Weiner said he panicked when Breitbart revealed the Twitter picture, so he made up a story about his account being hacked, then about the episode being a prank.
“I have made terrible mistakes,” he said, choking back tears. “I have not been honest.”
“The picture was of me and I sent it,” he said. “I lied because I was embarrassed.”
On Tuesday, Breitbart revealed other photos that Weiner had sent to different women.
Weiner, though, said he would not resign his House seat, claiming he did nothing that violated the law. He also said he never cheated on his wife and never even met the women he exchanged online messages and photos with.
Several reporters asked Weiner to address Breitbart specifically, which he declined to do several times, saying instead that he apologizes to everyone he lied to. But the umpteenth time he was asked about Breitbart, Weiner said: “I apologize to Andrew Breitbart.”
Reporters also asked if he’d give up using Facebook and Twitter. “I don’t believe I’ll use it the same way,” Weiner said.
Near the close of the press conference, an unknown participant shouted out several provocative questions that Weiner ignored.
“Were you fully erect? Were you capable of more?” the person said as some reporters in the room shouted him down.
Breitbart has also said he has a more lewd photo of Weiner that he’ll only release if the congressman calls him a liar again. Speaking on Hugh Hewitt’s syndicated radio show after Monday’s press conference, Breitbart called the unreleased Weiner photo a “self portrait” of “an extreme XXX nature.”
“It’s beyond the pale. It’s just a shocker,” he said.
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