NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rep. Anthony Weiner, who has been under fire after admitting to sending graphic photos to women online, has acknowledged he had online contact with a 17-year-old girl in Delaware but said the communications were “neither explicit nor indecent.”
New Castle County police officers went to a high school junior’s home Friday afternoon, where she was questioned by officers about online communications with congressman Weiner.
A Weiner spokeswoman issued a statement Friday night that said, “According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent.”
Friday night, a police spokeswoman confirmed that two officers had spoken with the teenager and her mother around 4:30 p.m.
“They were made aware of an alleged contact between Congressman Anthony Weiner and an area teen,” said Officer Tracey Duffy, a New Castle County police spokeswoman. “The teen has been interviewed and disclosed no information regarding any criminal activity.”
The teen reportedly followed Weiner on Twitter after she saw him speak during a class trip to Washington, D.C. in April.
Weiner later messaged the teen. Neighbors hope that is the extent of it.
“If it involves a minor, the investigation should be furthered,” one neighbor said. “He shouldn’t be having conversations with anybody younger than him.”
The Internet exchanges between Weiner and the teen have been described as very different from the congressman’s admittedly scandalous tweets and emails with adult women, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Earlier Friday, Rep. Charles Rangel came to Weiner’s defense, saying no way should he throw in the towel.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Rep. Charles Rangel
“So, the whole idea of resignation is something that’s hyped up by the press,” said Rangel.
The 80-year-old Rangel, though, says he doesn’t understand Twitter and Facebook.
“I don’t know what he did, who he offended. I know one thing, he wasn’t going with prostitutes. He wasn’t going out with little boys. He wasn’t going into the men’s room with broad stances,” said Rangel.
Rangel added that Weiner can be an effective Congressman, as he put it, only if the “press gets off his back.” Rangel and Rep. Carolyn Maloney both told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer they had been called by the embattled congressman.
“He’s called, but our conversation is very private,” Rangel told Kramer. “I feel bad for him and his family, and I hope his marriage continues to be strong.”
Meanwhile, despite a growing number of calls for his resignation from fellow lawmakers, it seems Weiner’s constituents think he should keep his job.
A new NY1-Marist Poll showed 56 percent of registered voters in Weiner’s 9th congressional district support the congressman.
“You cannot judge anyone,” said Anna Wisniewska. “He did what he did and he apologized. It’s only between him and his wife.”
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: 56 Percent Of Registered Voters Supporting Rep. Weiner
“I think there is no problem, I think he needs to work it through,” said one man.
While 56 percent say they want Weiner to stay on, 33 percent think he should go and 12 percent are unsure.
The survey was done on June 8 and questioned 512 adults, which included 411 registered voters.
Douglas Sherman, 50, who lives in the Kew Gardens, was saddened by the lawmaker’s misfortunes.
“I voted for him, I think he was a good representative. He fights for liberal causes. I think he’s a strong voice for those issues,” he said, adding that he had mixed feelings about whether Weiner had to go.
Brighton Beach resident George Nogueras said Weiner “has got to go.”
“He should resign if there are nude pictures of him floating around,” said Nogueras, 52.
Nogueras said he is a registered Democrat and voted for Weiner in the last election, but at this point he said there is nothing the congressman could do to win his vote back.
But Frank Alberti said he liked the congressman. He said the scandal surrounding Weiner would not necessarily influence his vote.
“It’s an embarrassment, but I vote for someone on his record,” he said.
One constituent named Ann told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond that Weiner helped her in a landlord-tenant dispute.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With Weiner’s Constituents In Kew Gardens
“I think that he’s doing the right thing and a lot of the Congress people or political people that say things against him probably, if you looked into their past, they’ve done the very same thing, If not worse,” said Ann.
However, voter Mary Ann Falan says Weiner should go.
“I’m very upset. And I’m very upset with anybody that has the general conception that this is okay. This behavior isn’t okay,” she said.
Would the scandal influence your vote? Sound off below in our comments section…