Weiner Admits Tweeting with Minor, Says Wasn’t ‘Indecent’
Rep. Anthony Weiner sent private electronic messages to a 17-year-old Delaware girl but maintains there was nothing inappropriate in his communications with her.
In a statement to Roll Call Friday evening, the New York Democrat’s spokeswoman Risa Heller said, “According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent.”
Heller’s statement comes after the New Castle County Police Department questioned the girl Friday afternoon, according to Fox News, which said it had reporters present at the home when police arrived.
Weiner became a “follower” of the girl, who is 17, on Twitter in April, and subsequently sent her direct messages. The content of those messages was unknown Friday.
So far, the scandal involving Weiner’s use of social networking sites to carry on a string of sexually-explicit communications with women has not included allegations of criminal misconduct on the part of the seven-term Congressman.
The inquiry could ramp up pressure on Weiner to resign and will certainly mean that the scandal-plagued lawmaker will continue dominate political conversations for days to come — much to the chagrin of Democratic leaders who are hoping he will resign of his own accord.
Prior to the Fox News report, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday afternoon declined to explicitly call for Weiner to quit Congress, telling the Associated Press that it is up to “the individual Member” and their constituents to decide. A spokesman for Pelosi did not immediately return a request for comment on the Fox News report.
In addition, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) came to Weiner’s defense on Friday.
In an exchange with reporters, Rangel sought to make a distinction between Weiner’s previously acknowledged online communications and sex scandals that have involved Republicans or other Democrats.
“He wasn’t going with prostitutes. He wasn’t going out with little boys. He wasn’t going into men’s room with broad stances. I mean, all of those I understand; I’m 80 years old,” Rangel told reporters, according to a New York Observer video posted on YouTube.
“But high-tech stuff like this, I can’t respond. But I know immoral sex when I hear it from other Members, and no one has screamed for their resignation. So I don’t know why they’re selecting Anthony,” Rangel added.
But those comments came before the Delaware police investigation was public knowledge and it is unclear whether Rangel will stick by Weiner now.
The police investigation is making Democrats more nervous about the situation and may increase pressure on Pelosi to call for Weiner’s resignation, a Democratic operative said.