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Special Report

Do Lawmakers and Social Media Mix?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 1, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR : You can't definitively say whether it's you or not?

REP. ANTHONY WEINER, D-N.Y.: I can definitively say that I did not send this. I can definitively say it looks a lot like a prank and a joke about my name. I can say with certitude that I have hired someone who is gonna come in, deconstruct this as best they can to make sure this doesn't happen again. I don't think this is a federal case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Representative Anthony Weiner today talking about a picture that was sent out on his Twitter account. He's saying he did not send it out, but he is not saying whether the picture was him or not.

Before the break, we asked you should members of Congress communicate through social media? 26 percent of you said yes, 74 percent of you said no, in our unscientific poll. We're back with the panel.

Juan, what about this? Ya know, the story kind of generated over the weekend, and then he held this Q&A with reporters, which was very combative and very vague. And then we get a call to come in for interviews, a series of interviews with a number of networks. What about this?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Well, you know, it's interesting. Yesterday, the way that this story was being treated was it's a nuisance, it was a silly thing, it was a hacking incident. What happened really overnight, was the idea that he would not say conclusively, that's not me in that picture, which led people to conclude, maybe unfairly, but it's the consensus, that that is a picture of him and that somehow, this is something that he was engaged in, which is quite tawdry behavior, certainly for someone who is a member of Congress and pretty high-ranking. He's often out there making the defense of left wing Democratic policies in the Congress.

BAIER: And he's often pretty media savvy?

WILLIAMS: He's very media savvy, very smart guy, and comes from a district, by the way, that is pretty strongly Republican. You know, I mean, it's in New York City, but this is an area where if he goes away I'm not sure Democrats hold.

BAIER: I also asked him about why he didn't call the authorities at any point. Take a listen to this exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Why not call the authorities? As of today, U.S. Capitol Police say there has been no call for the investigation.

WEINER: That wasn't in the capitol.

BAIER: You're a sitting member of Congress.

WEINER: That doesn't mean that everything that happens to sitting member of Congress becomes a federal offense. I'm a citizen too.

BAIER: You're @RepWeiner.

WEINER: That's not my government account. Maybe -- I mean, I'm just telling you, this is my personal account. This is -- I was tweeting about hockey at the time, when this all happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: Now, we talked to a former DOJ computer prosecutor, Charles. He said that if you call the FBI you could have this done in five minutes, you could track the address. Here is what the former U.S. attorney from the District of Columbia, Joe diGenova, said today. He said "If Weiner in fact filed a complaint claiming he had been hacked, when in fact he had not been, that would be making a false statement to either local police authorities or federal officials. And that would be a crime."

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, that is what is so strange about the story. I'm not an expert on internet stuff. I have no idea how it works, whether or not you could show definitively one way or the other what happened.

But, I mean all of us can judge from our experience with human behavior. If his story is true, if he were hacked, obviously somebody is setting you up, embarrassing you and trying to destroy you, the natural reaction would be anger at that person, a demand to know what happened, who it is, and to do everything, including bringing in authorities to find out and to exonerate you. That's the natural reaction.

The fact that it isn't his reaction makes people wonder about what actually happened. Now all that is circumstantial and in a way psychological evidence, but it's the impression everyone gets. And unfortunately, the impression here, is quite awful for Representative Weiner.

BAIER: Jonah?

JONAH GOLDBERG, AT LARGE EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Yeah, look, I'll go out on a limb. He's guilty of something. Cause there is nothing that would explain how he has reacted to this if he wasn't guilty of something. It makes no sense. He says that someone is going after him, hacking him for political motives to distract him from what he is doing, but he doesn't want an investigation.

The one person who has been cited as the possible hacker has invited investigation. He has called for an investigation to clear his name because he's getting death threats and all the rest, this guy Dan Wolfe. There is -- I mean, it's very difficult for me to talk about this without getting you in trouble with the FCC because there is just a minefield of puns out there.

But it seems to me that, ya know, that this is one of the most spectacular unforced errors in American politics, because there is no way what he is saying tracks with any plausible explanation of innocent behavior. And when he says that he was watching hockey at the time -- and you kind of called him on this -- that is his political account. He has all sorts of political stuff on that. He had spent the day going after Clarence Thomas as a surrogate for the Democratic Party. The idea that, oh it's just talk where he talks about hockey is just simply not true.

BAIER: Yeah, I also asked about -- and there had been many other reports about him following a list of women, Juan, and exchanging direct messages with some of them, including a porn star, allegedly. He said that his responses, direct messages were pat responses, "Thanks for following me," et cetera, et cetera. It seems like this is a problem that would have gone away easily if he had addressed it the first day with reporters, answered those questions.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, if he had answered the questions frankly and honestly, if he was able to. But apparently he is embarrassed. And that's why he is playing games with words and that's why he's dodging your questions.

I don't know that he has done anything illegal here, so far. Now what Joe diGenova says, if he asked and suggested that he had been hacked, maybe that would be illegal. But there is nothing illegal being done here. He's not messing around with interns. He's not messing around with, ya know, somebody who is working for him. It's not, I don't think, about sexual harassment. But it is just about someone who's engaged in tawdry behavior that could have strongly negative political consequences for him.

(CROSSTALK)

BAIER: He does want to run for mayor, allegedly, in New York at some point.

WILLIAMS: Right. And remember, I think he is already moving up in terms of leadership here on the Democratic side of the House.

GOLDBERG: Rarely have I cared so much about a story that matters so little. I mean I agree with you in that regard. But at the same time, the Democratic Party has for years gone hammer and tongs against Republicans the second there has been any kind of these kinds of personal scandals, using the Republican's sort of higher moral standards as a way to sort of - as a cudgel to beat them up about it.

And you have Anthony Weiner who is exactly that kind of Democrat, who has been that kind of guy all along, out there, saying that he can't confirm it's him in the underwear. Because ya know, you've gotta to sympathize, if you have that many pictures of you in your underwear out there, then maybe it is hard to figure out if it is you.

BAIER: I used drawers.

KRAUTHAMMER: That was an excellent choice of words. It had a British sophistication about it.

(LAUGHTER)

I thought it got you off the hook and you didn't use any puns either.

BAIER: That's right. That's it for the panel, thankfully. But stay tuned for a surprise ending to a dumb experiment.

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