Reporting Marcia Kramer
WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — Congressman Anthony Weiner said Thursday he’s finished talking about the lewd photo sent from his Twitter account.
But he still wouldn’t say whether he’s the one in the picture.
So CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer decided to go to his office on Capitol Hill to try to get you some answers.
You’ll never believe what happened.
Kramer tried to get an interview with the six-term New York Democrat and as a result had the cops called on her.
Kramer walked in to Weiner’s office, announced herself as being from CBS 2 in New York City and said she’d like to see the congressman. Those few words created quite the stir. Doors slammed and people pretended she wasn’t there.
Finally, brave press secretary David Arnold arrived. The following is the exchange Kramer had with him:
Kramer: “All I want is for him to say something to his constituents, the people who have to vote for him.”
Arnold: “I don’t think you can say he hasn’t said anything to his constituents. He spoke for nine hours yesterday.
Kramer: “But not to anyone in New York. You know, this is the sort of in-the-bunker in the capitol, not to anyone in New York.”
After Kramer left Weiner’s office, his staff called the Capitol Police.
Police officers asked for identification. One cop told Kramer that if she went into Weiner’s office and didn’t leave if she was asked, she could be arrested.
“If you go to an office and are asked to leave, you can be placed under arrest,” Officer Michael Miller said.
Kramer responded, “But I wasn’t refusing to leave.”
Kramer was never asked to leave Weiner’s office, but the fact that the cops were called is a clear sign that the stress of this so-called “Weinergate” controversy is taking its toll. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor became the first member of House leadership to go after Weiner.
“I think the American people are sick of seeing their elected officials tied up in scandals like this. My advice would be to come clean and clear it up. Perhaps he’s trying, but I know there’s a lot of explaining going on, without a lot of clarity,” Cantor said.
Weiner, himself, had little to say Thursday.
“Today I’m going to have to head back to work doing a job I’m paid to do,” he said.
He refused to answer any questions and walked back into his office.
The Congressman adamantly denies tweeting a suggestive photo of a man in grey underwear to a 21-year-old woman, but was far less clear about the photo’s origin when pressed by CBS congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes.
Cordes: “Congressman, I think the main question people are asking is, was that a picture of you?”
Weiner: “Well the main question that a lot of people are asking is did I send the photograph. I did not, this was a prank, a hoax.”
Cordes: “So it sounds like it was a photo of you.”
Weiner: “Well we’re going to try to find out exactly what happened.”
Weiner is also dodging questions about why he followed the Washington State College student on Twitter, along with a bevy of other young women, refusing to answer reporters’ questions about whether he ever sent her private messages.
“Look, I’m not going to get into how I communicate with people on social media,” he said. “Did I send someone a note that says, ‘thank you for following me, tune in for the future.’ I don’t want to open the door to that.”
He said whatever the communication, none of it was inappropriate. But he’s stopped short of calling for an investigation.
On The Early Show Thursday, CBS news legal analyst Jack Ford, said the congressman may have a good reason for not involving authorities.
“It’s not against the law to lie to the media. It’s not against the law to lie to constituents. It is against the law to lie to law enforcement,” said Ford. “So if I’m a lawyer on a case like this, I’m going to be real careful before I let my client talk to law enforcement.”
Another expert told Kramer the ongoing questions could hurt his political ambitions.
“This is something that is not going to go away. It is part of his legacy whether he likes it or not,” said crisis management guru Richard Auletta of Auletta & Assoc.
If Weiner thinks this is going away anytime soon, he’s got another thing coming. There were dozens of journalists on permanent stakeout outside his door all day.
The damage to Weiner’s political future is yet to be determined.
What do you think? Let us know in our comments section.