Anthony Weiner tries to move on from Twitter incident

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., testifies before the House Rules Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 6, 2011. Harry Hamburg

After spending the weekend answering questions about the lewd photograph released through his Twitter account, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) says it's now time to move on.

Approached by reporters today, Weiner refused to answer a series of questions about the incident, raising more questions than answers even as some of high-profile Democratic colleagues today expressed their confidence Weiner had nothing to do with it.

On Friday night, a close-up picture of a man's underwear was tweeted from Weiner's account. The picture, addressed to a Seattle college student's Twitter handle @GennetteC, was visible to all of the congressman's followers.

Weiner's office said Monday he hired a lawyer to possibly pursue civil or criminal charges after his spokesman said the incident could be chalked up to a mischievous hacker.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, concurred today that the lewd picture was likely the result of a hacker.

"Somebody hacked into his Twitter account and projected material -- which can happen, I guess, to anybody -- which was not generated by Mr. Weiner," Hoyer told reporters. "It's unfortunate... My understanding is that's illegal activity and the proper authorities ought to pursue it. So I don't think it's going to hurt the party. I don't think it's going to hurt Mr. Weiner, either."

Hoyer said Weiner is working with authorities to see if it can be determined who hacked into the account.

When approached by CBS News and other media today, Weiner would not say why he chose to hire a lawyer rather than just let law enforcement handle the case. Nor would he say why he was following a college student on Twitter, or whether or not the picture was of him. Weiner said he had spent the weekend giving answers and wanted to put the matter to rest.

"I'm not going to talk about this anymore," he said. "I think that if I was giving a speech to 45,000 people and someone stood up and heckled in the back, I wouldn't spend three days talking to him. I'm going to get back to the conversation I care about."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, another N.Y. Democrat, told the New York Daily News, "I don't know the details. But I know [Weiner] to be a person of integrity, and I am virtually certain he had nothing to do with this."

Meanwhile, the incident has generated new interest in Weiner's Twitter account, bringing his following up to more than 48,000. The congressman continued tweeting this morning -- about policy issues: "Lets remember that the debt limit vote is to continue to pay the BUSH debt. #TaxCutsForBillionaires."

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.