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'Weinergate' in Congressman Weiner's Own Words

'Bad Behavior: Political Sex Scandals' - A look at Congressman Weiner's fall in Twitter pic debacle

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 10, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: So what did Congressman Weiner do and how did he get caught? Here's what we know. Saturday, May 28th, the lewd photo was first reported by Biggovernment.com, a website run by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart. Then next day, Sunday, May 29th, Congressman Weiner falsely claims his Twitter account was hacked and that someone used his account to send the lewd picture.

Two days later, Tuesday, May 31st, at a press conference the congressman becomes combative with reporters when he is grilled about the incident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ANTHONY WEINER, D-N.Y.: If I were giving a speech to 45,000 people and someone in the back threw a pie or yelled out an insult, I would not spend the next two hours of my speech responding to that pie or that insult. I would return to the things that I want to talk about to the audience that I wanted...

QUESTION: All you have to do is say no (INAUDIBLE)

WEINER: And that is what I intend to do (INAUDIBLE)

(CROSSTALK)

WEINER: This is the tactic. The guy in the back of the room who's throwing the pie or yelling out the insult wants that to be the conversation.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But you were the one who said...

WEINER: I am -- Dana, let me...

BASH: ... that you were hacked.

WEINER: Dana --

BASH: And that's -- and that's a criminal -- a potential crime.

WEINER: Dana -- Dana, let me -- I'm going to have to ask that we follow some rules here. And one of them's going to be you ask the questions, I do the answers. That seem reasonable?

BASH: I'd love to get an answer.

WEINER: That would be reasonable, right?

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

WEINER: You do the questions? That'd be reasonable. You do the questions, I do the answers and this jackass interrupts me? How about that as the new rule of the game?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: The next day, Wednesday, June 1st, Congressman Weiner does a series of interviews in his office, attempting to deceive the media by being cagey with his answers. One of the reporters he tried to dupe was our own Bret Baier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRET BAIER, HOST, "SPECIAL REPORT": Is this Twitter picture in question a picture of you?

WEINER: Well, let's remember this Twitter picture in question is a hack or a prank that someone posted on my Twitter page with someone else's name in it who says she never got it and doesn't know me and I don't know her.

We're trying to get to the bottom of where the picture came from and we're trying to get to the bottom of what it's of and who's it of. We're concerned about saying anything definitively. You know, pictures get manipulated. Pictures get dropped into accounts, and so we'd asked an Internet security firm and a law firm to take a hard look at this and try to come up with a conclusion about what happened and how we make sure it doesn't happen again.

BAIER: Is there a picture out there of you in your, well, drawers that you are worried about or you can't definitively say that it's not you?

WEINER: You know, here, we've been sitting down for a brief moment and you're already asking if there are pictures of me in my drawers. I mean, look --

BAIER: You invited us here.

WEINER: Well, you asked to interview me and I'm doing the interview.

BAIER: You invited all of the networks here to, I assume, clear up what was a very vague and evasive and combative meeting with reporters yesterday.

WEINER: Well, in fairness, I answered questions about this on Saturday. I answered questions about this on Sunday. I answered questions about this on Monday. And on Tuesday, when we were trying to figure out whether to put the full faith and credit in the United States government in jeopardy by a phony debt limit vote I did, I was, and I admit this. I was pretty contentious with reporters who wanted to talk about an Internet prank. And one of the things that I think we're trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. We asked a firm to come in and take a look at that. We're going to listen to what their advice is, whether any authorities should be brought in, how we make sure our accounts are secure. But I want to tell you that, you know, photographs can be doctored, can be manipulated, can be put in one account in another account and we're trying to --

BAIER: So it's possible it is you?

WEINER: What I will say is this, is that I know for a fact that my account was hacked.

BAIER: Hacked?

WEINER: So --

BAIER: I mean hacked into, the account was hacked?

WEINER: Well, someone tweeted something saying they were me that wasn't me. You can choose whatever word you like. Call it hacked or prank or whatever you want to call it.

BAIER: Do you have suspicions of who did it?

WEINER: I'm not an expert at this stuff. I can tell you this, that we have asked some professionals who do this for a living for big companies to come and take a look at the situation. This wasn't on a government account. It wasn't a particularly -- you know, it wasn't a particularly dangerous thing.

BAIER: Why not call the authorities? As of today, U.S. Capitol police said there's been no call for an investigation.

WEINER: That wasn't in the Capitol.

BAIER: You're a sitting member of Congress.

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

(CROSSTALK)

BAIER: -- computer crimes prosecutor, and he said that it would take one call to the FBI and they would subpoena Twitter, and within five minutes you could probably get the I.P. address that this happened--

WEINER: Well, hold on a second. So you think that when someone posts on your page, let's say your page --

BAIER: I'm not a member of Congress.

WEINER: Let's say I'm just a citizen, I'm a citizen too.

BAIER: You're @RepWeiner.

WEINER: This is my personal account. This is -- I was tweeting about hockey at the time when this all happened. I don't think this is a federal case. I don't think that this is the second rising of bin Laden being an Internet Twitter hoax. What this is, is someone making mischief, and this is, I believe, time for us to kind of focus on that again.

BAIER: And you definitively didn't send it but you can't definitively say whether it's you or not?

WEINER: 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 going to come in, deconstruct this the best they can to make sure this doesn't happen again. And I can also say like hundreds of thousands, unfortunately, of Americans who wake up one morning and find out that their account was compromised or that someone have sent out something under their name that they didn't send. I roll up my sleeves, I try to dust it off, and I try to figure out how we make sure that that doesn't happen again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Monday, June 6: Weiner's stunning confession:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEINER: I'd like to take this time to clear up some of the questions that have been raised over the past 10 days or so and take full responsibility for my actions.

At the outset, I'd like to make it clear that I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people I care about the most, and I'm deeply sorry. I have not been honest with myself, my family, my constituents, my friends and supporters and the media.

Last Friday night, I tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended to send as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle. Once I realized I had posted it to Twitter, I panicked. I took it down and said that I had been hacked. I then continued with that story, to stick to that story, which was a hugely regrettable mistake.

This woman was unwittingly dragged into this and bears absolutely no responsibility. I'm so sorry to have disrupted her life in this way.

To be clear, the picture was of me and I sent it. I'm deeply sorry for the pain this has caused my wife, Huma, and our family and my constituents, my friends, supporters and staff.

In addition, over the past few years, I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and occasionally on the phone with women I have met on line. I've exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years. For the most part, these communications took place before my marriage, though some have, sadly, took place after. To be clear, I have never met any of these women or had physical relationships at any time.

I haven't told the truth, and I've done things I deeply regret. I've brought pain to people I care about the most and people who've believed in me. And for that, I'm deeply sorry. I apologize to my wife and our family, as well as to our friends and supporters.

I'm deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment and actions. I came here to accept the full responsibility for what I've done.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

WEINER: I am deeply regretting what I have done, and I am not resigning. I have made it clear that I accept responsibility for this. And people who draw conclusions about me are free to do so. I've worked for the people of my district for 13 years and in politics for 20 years. And I hope that they see fit to see this in the light that it is, which is a deeply regrettable a mistake.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

WEINER: I regret not being honest about this. This was a big mistake to -- too -- I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. I'm still to this moment. I was trying to protect my wife. I was trying to protect myself from shame. It was a mistake, and I really -- I really regret it.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) not here. (INAUDIBLE) with your wife because of this?

WEINER: I love my wife very much and...

QUESTION: Are you going to split up?

WEINER: I love my wife very much, and we have no intention of splitting up over this. We have been through...

(CROSSTALK)

WEINER: We have been through a great deal together and we will weather this. I love her very much and she loves me.

I'm deeply apologetic first and foremost to my wife, to the many people that put so much faith and confidence in me, that watched me make this terrible mistake. But everyone that I misled, everyone in the media, my staff, the people that I lied to about this, they all deserve an apology.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... about the time that you sent these pictures...

QUESTION: ... how long this has gone on?

WEINER: Some of these relationships -- some date back I think as much as three years.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... what you were saying wasn't true and that (INAUDIBLE) had to come out here today?

WEINER: Almost from the moment that I -- you know, when you say something like that, that's so wrong -- I was embarrassed. And I didn't want it to lead to other embarrassing things. And I did -- I did -- it was a dumb thing to try to tell lies about it because it just lead to more lies.

QUESTION: Congressman (INAUDIBLE)

WEINER: But almost...

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

WEINER: Almost immediately after I said the lie, I knew that I was putting people in a very bad position and I didn't want to continue doing it.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Was Meagan Broussard one of the women?

WEINER: Meagan Broussard was one of the women.

QUESTION: Congressman, when did you tell your wife? When did you tell your wife?

WEINER: My wife has known about some of these on-line relationships since before we were married. And we spoke frankly about them because -- well, we spoke frankly about them. But she didn't know until this morning that I had not been telling the truth about whether I posted the Twitter posting last week.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

WEINER: I apologize to Andrew Breitbart. I apologize to the many other members of the media that I misled. I apologize first and foremost to my wife and to my family.

QUESTION: Where is she right now? Where is she right now?

WEINER: She is not here.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... congressional leadership, to Leader Pelosi or...

WEINER: I spoke briefly to Leader Pelosi before I came over here.

QUESTION: What did she tell you?

WEINER: She said -- she said to be truthful and she said to -- just to say what know and -- and was thankful that I was doing that today.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) on the phone, did you have phone sex with these women? Did you ever have an affair with one of these women?

WEINER: I've never -- as I said in my statement, I never met any of these women.

QUESTION: Did you have phone sex?

WEINER: I never was in the same room with them. I never had any physical relationship whatsoever. I am reluctant to -- for their privacy and since their names are coming out, or characterizing our exchanges except that they were consensual. But I'm not going to -- not going to -- not going to rebut anything or dispute anything that any of the women that have come forward have said. They have every right to do so, and so I'm not going to make any efforts to characterize those conversations.

(CROSSTALK)

WEINER: I'm not making any excuses for my behavior. I don't -- I don't do drugs. I was not drinking. That wasn't the cause of this. This was -- this was me doing a dumb thing and doing it repeatedly and then lying about it. And that's all there is.

I'm here to accept responsibility for this. I'm not asking to shift the blame to anyone else or to any external force or anything else.

My wife is a remarkable woman. She's not responsible for any of this. This was visited upon her. She's getting back to work. And I apologize to her very deeply.

QUESTION: Congressman...

(CROSSTALK)

WEINER: People have to make that determination. I mean, I'm here to express my apologies. I'm here to take responsibility. But you know, beyond that, look, my constituents have to make the determination. It's up to them. If they believe that this is something that means that they don't want to vote for me, I'm going to work very hard to win back their trust and to try to persuade them that this is a personal failing of mine, that I've worked very hard for my constituents for a very long time, very long hours, and that nothing about this should reflect in any way on my official duties or on my oath of office.

(CROSSTALK)

WEINER: I'm sorry, sir?

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) judgment.

WEINER: I'll leave that for people to -- I certainly used bad judgment here. That's for sure. And if someone wants to draw that conclusion, I can't stop them. I'm here to accept responsibility for some very bad decisions.

QUESTION: These were young girls, very young, 21 years old. Does that bother you that (INAUDIBLE)

WEINER: I don't know -- I don't know the exact ages of the women, and they...

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) young enough to be your children!

WEINER: I don't know the ages of the women. And I don't know if you do. I'm going to respect their privacy, but they were all adults, at least to the best of my knowledge they were all adults. And they were -- and they were engaging -- and they were engaging in these conversations consensually.

QUESTION: But if you don't know how old they are, how do know they're adults?

WEINER: Well, all I know is what they publish about themselves in social media. Someone could theoretically be -- have been fibbing about it. And that's a risk.

(CROSSTALK)

WEINER: I am deeply sorry that lied about this. But at the end of the day, I lied because I was I embarrassed. I lied because I was ashamed of what I had done and didn't want to get caught. But my -- did I violate the Constitution of the United States by lying about posting a Twitter post? I certainly don't think so, and I haven't spoke to anyone who did. But if people want to say that this is a violation of my oath because I sent a Twitter that I regretted and I lied about it, then obviously, they - - people are entitled to that viewpoint.

(END VIDEO CLIP)