NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Newark Mayor Cory Booker has more than 1.4 million followers on Twitter, but a correspondence with one is raising some eyebrows.
It has been revealed that Booker had exchanged direct messages with a woman who bares her body at a vegan strip club in Portland, Ore.
The private communication between the 44-year-old Booker and the 26-year-old stripper, who goes by the name Lynsie Lee on Twitter, was first reported by BuzzFeed on Wednesday.
In a message to Lee, Booker — who is single — wrote “the East Coast loves you, and by the East Coast, I mean me.”
She replied, “Well, now I’m blushing :-),” to which Booker wrote back, “It’s only fair.”
Lee told BuzzFeed that Booker was just “flattering” her after she sent him a tweet saying that “the west coast loved him, especially me.”
Lee tweeted Wednesday night that she “doesn’t want her 15 minutes of fame, not this way” and claims “we did nothing wrong but exchange an innocent flirt almost a year ago.”
“I’ve flirted with him multiple times,” Lee told KOIN-TV, the CBS affiliate in Portland. “If anything, I’m the one who is the perverted one. I was the Anthony Weiner in this situation. But he had the most gentlemanly reply to like everything I said to him.’
On Thursday, Booker told reporters, including CBS 2’s Christine Sloan and WCBS 880’s Levon Putney, that he answers thousands of questions from everyone.
“Anybody who’s followed me for enough years sees that I literally talk to everybody,” he said. “It’s the way we should be in public life.
“That, to me, is what we should be doing is exchanging kindness, not judgment about what your profession is.”
Given former Congressman and ex-New York City mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner’s sexting escapades as Carlos Danger, Booker said he’s not surprised by the reaction to his tweets with Lee.
“I’ve seen everything from my sexuality being a point of discussion in this campaign — heck, I really think in the next week, people might be asking to see my birth certificate,” said Booker. “Everybody is talking about things in this election but, frankly, but what the issues are. We are four days away from a government shutdown.”
Booker said he will continue answering tweets from everybody.
“Really, the most shocking part of this story was learning there is a vegan strip club in Portland,” Booker’s spokesperson said.
Steve Lonegan, Booker’s Republican rival in the Senate race, said of the tweets Thursday: “I think it’s a question of judgment and character,” he said.
Some New Jersey residents think this could cost Booker the upcoming election.
“I wouldn’t vote for a man like that,” one man said.
“Over here, he definitely lost a vote,” another man said.
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