Media gathered at the Sheraton hotel in New York City on Monday afternoon to hear Anthony Weiner explain today’s onslaught of embarrassment, but got another circus instead. Before Weiner eventually spoke, Breitbart seemingly hijacked the press conference microphone, taking questions from the media about his website’s involvement in the scandal. “I’m here to see myself vindicated,” he said before attacking the left-wing blogosphere. “It is news,” he assured the crowd of Weinergate, while referring to himself intermittently in the third-person. “Breitbart lied, Breitbart lied, Breitbart lied,” he mocked, demanding one example of his own malfeasance.
A catastrophic morning took Anthony Weiner’s #Weinergate scandal to the next level with the release of dirty messages and gradual publishing of increasingly raunchy photographs, allegedly sent by the congressman to a Texas woman.
One of the pictures in question shows Weiner with his cats, allegedly titled “Me and the pussys,” and another set has the congressman shirtless, with threats from Andrew Breitbart and Big Government that another photograph sent from the same email account “is extremely graphic, and leaves nothing to the imagination.”
A press conference was reportedly scheduled for 4 p.m. in Manhattan to address the matter. But Breitbart’s presence caused a stir among the media and CNN reported that he was crowded in the back of the room. Then, he took the microphone prepared, presumably, for Weiner.
“I’m doing this to save his family,” Breitbart said of not releasing the “X-rated” picture of the congressman. But he threatened that it could come out if his Big Government stories continue to be questioned. “I’m not doing this for nefarious purposes,” Breitbart said. But he added, “If this guy wants to fight with me again, I have this photo.” Asked if that might not be extortion, Breitbart responded, “I’m trying to do the decent thing, but if he wants to fight with fire, come on.”
As of 4:22 p.m., it’s unclear if Weiner will still speak. We’ll update as we know more.
Update: Jennifer Preston of the New York Times writes, “To be fair, turns out reporters asked Andrew Breitbart to take the podium because they were swarming him in the back.”
Weiner indeed ended up speaking, albiet a little late, admitting that the photos are indeed of him and that he lied about being hacked. Weiner says he won’t resign.
This post has been updated.