Congressman Anthony Weiner couldn’t say “with certitude” whether a picture of penis tweeted from his official account was indeed of him, dragging out what’s been dubbed Weinergate through all of last week. Now Weiner’s skittishness is starting to look justified as the ethically questionable Andrew Breitbart (grains of salt start here) claims a new “bombshell”: Weiner, Big Government reports, was “involved in an online, consensual relationship involving the mutual exchange of intimate photographs” with a woman who is not his wife.
The photo above was allegedly sent by the congressman to the anonymous woman from AnthonyWeiner@aol.com on May 4, 2011, via BlackBerry, with the subject line “Me and the pussys.” This doesn’t look good. (Update: Radar Online and Star magazine claim Weiner also used an official Facebook account to send additional sexy messages. Plus, Breitbart unleashes shirtless photos. See below!)
As of 11:45 a.m., Breitbart has posted two Weiner pictures; the other one stars Weiner holding a sign that says “me” meant “to confirm” to this mystery woman “that he was taking photographs contemporaneously, in conjunction with their apparent online communications.”
“We will be updating BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com throughout the day with photographs, timelines, and other clarifying details,” Breitbart writes. “However, we will not be releasing all of the material because some of it is of an extreme, graphic nature.”
Breitbart claims he was approached with this story “more than a week prior” to Weinergate. Now of course, with everyone watching, a truth-challenged provocateur like Breitbart would tease and draw out the process, already couching his supposed bombshell in caveats like “…we will not be releasing all of the material…”
But that doesn’t make this look any better for Rep. Weiner. We’re not here to moralize over suggestive subject lines or out-of-line photos and we have nothing resembling the full story here, but these photographs are undoubtedly of the congressman. Who he sent them to and why we don’t know. But while attempting to get beyond a story centered around a questionable photograph, more questionable photographs don’t just dig Weiner’s hold deeper — they’re like dynamite that could cause the already-shaky walls to crumble.
We’ll update when we know more, when Breitbart ceases to be so giddily withholding.
Update, 1:07 p.m.: It seems this day is going from bad to worse for Weiner. Now the assault is coming from outside the Breitbart empire with the gossip website Radar’s exclusive report, in conjunction with Star, that Rep. Weiner used a since-abandoned, but still active Facebook account to send dirty messages to a stranger in Nevada:
Weiner, 46, wrote to the woman, “ridiculous bulge in my shorts now. wanna see?”
She responded: “Yea! can u send a pic?”
“jeez, im rushing. let me take a quick pic,” Weiner answered.
There was also phone sex, supposedly. Whether or not there’s truth in these claims or it’s just relentless piling-on to an already out-of-hand scandal, it’s impossible to say at this moment. But Weiner’s team must be scrambling. At this rate, they’ll need to offer some containment soon. Could today be the day Weiner goes down? Embroiled in a similar PG-13 or R-rated snafu (with the XXX stuff never really coming), it took Rep. Chris Lee, also of New York, only hours to resign; for Weiner, week two is shaping up to be a doozy.
Update, 1:34 p.m.: Well, speaking of Chris Lee, here’s Weiner shirtless.
In the post, Breitbart not only implies that the infamous boxer picture was sent to a woman from the same email address as the flexing photo above, but that later, from the same anonymous Yahoo! email address, Weiner sent another picture, titled ready.JPG that “is extremely graphic, and leaves nothing to the imagination.” This presumably naked photograph, though Breitbart warned earlier he “will not be releasing all of the material,” probably won’t stay secret for long.
This post was originally published at 11:58 a.m. on June 6, 2011.