By Martin Gould
The sex scandal that has engulfed married Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner grew even more tawdry today — and generated suggestions that he should quit — amid new allegations that he sent out pictures and sexually explicit text messages to women.
However, Weiner rejected suggestions that he should resign during an emotional news conference this afternoon. He confessed to inappropriate texting and lying about it.
"I have made terrible mistakes," Weiner said, choking back tears and adding that he apologizes to his wife, colleagues, and friends.
Editor's note: For the updated story on the full news conference, including video — Click Here Now.
One of the pictures that surfaced today showed the bottom half of what appeared to be Weiner’s face above a naked chest. A second, seemingly innocent, shot showing Weiner sitting with his two cats had a caption dripping with double entendre.
But even more damaging to Weiner, who married Hillary Clinton’s long-time aide Huma Abedin in July, are the texts he is accused of sending a middle-aged woman in Nevada.
The combined effect is so great that Ronald Kessler, Newsmax’s chief Washington correspondent, says the New York congressman now should step down from his House seat.
“Representative Weiner has now lost all credibility,” Kessler said. “Can you imagine if George Bush had done anything like this?
“Given that he has engaged in shameful conduct and become a laughingstock, Weiner is left with no choice now but to resign.”
The double whammy could not have come at a worse time for the embattled congressman. The furor over the Memorial Day weekend “bulging shorts” Twitter picture sent to Seattle co-ed Genette Cordova was beginning to fade, and it appeared that he might have weathered the storm.
But now the release of the pictures on conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment website, followed almost immediately by the messages on the tabloid site RadarOnline, have reignited the whole issue.
The Nevada woman told Radar that she has about 200 explicit messages from Weiner’s now-closed Facebook account. In one online exchange, Weiner allegedly asked whether she wanted to see “a ridiculous bulge in my shorts,” and then said he was taking pictures of it. However, the woman says Weiner “got cold feet” and did not send the picture.
A second exchange between the woman and the congressman ended when the woman gave out her phone number and suggested that they should talk rather than text. Within minutes, Weiner called and they ended up having phone sex, she said. “We proceeded to talk dirty for at least 30 minutes,” she said.
A few days later, she tried to call on the number that Weiner had used, but got only a recorded message saying it was an outgoing Congress line.