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Rep. Anthony Weiner Struggles to Explain Origin of Lewd Twitter Photo

Rep. Anthony Weiner struggled to explain how a picture of somebody's bulging underwear briefly appeared on his Twitter account, claiming in a back-to-back string of interviews that he was clearly hacked -- but hinting the photograph could have been an image of him. 

"I have photographs. I don't know what photographs are out there in the world of me," he said in one cable news interview, asked whether he'd ever snapped a photo like that of himself. 

In another interview, Weiner acknowledged "it could be" the case that one of his private photos spilled onto the Internet. Or, he said, one could have been manipulated or pulled in from "somewhere else." 

Talking briefly to reporters outside his office Thursday morning, the congressman made clear he was not interested in sitting down for more questions. 

"I made it very clear I did not send that picture, that my Twitter account had been hacked, and the prank apparently has been successful. But after hours, almost 11 hours of answering questions ... today, I'm going to have to get back to work," Weiner said. 

In interview after interview Wednesday, Weiner insisted he did not send the photo but at the same time could not say whether the photo was his. 

Asked by Fox News about the origin of the image, Weiner said: "We're concerned about saying anything definitively." 

Asked the same question again, Weiner snapped: "You know ... we've been sitting down for a brief moment and you're already asking if there are pictures of me in my drawers." 

Weiner sought to downplay the entire incident and put it to rest after days of intense coverage. The New York Democratic congressman has raised questions by not calling in the Capitol Police or other federal authorities to investigate what he claims is some combination of a hack and a prank. 

A former Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor said it would not cost much to request an investigation from the FBI. The former official said if Weiner had called the FBI when the story broke, the public would already know where the Tweet originated. 

But Weiner indicated he was not interested in making a big, federal case out of the matter.
Rather, he said he's called in an Internet security firm and a law firm to take a "hard look" at the incident and find out what happened. 

"I know for a fact that my account was hacked," Weiner told Fox News. "I can definitively say that I did not send this." 

Weiner's explanations on Thursday started to draw criticism from Capitol Hill. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who told Fox News that people "are sick of seeing their elected officials tied up in scandals" and questioned Weiner's claims. 

"There's a lot of explaining going on without a lot of clarity," Cantor said. 

The photo in question was deleted within minutes of being sent. BigGovernment.com first reported that it was tweeted to a Seattle woman, later identified as Gennette Cordova. 

Weiner, 46, is married to Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.