In Brief

Humiliated Weiner admits to Twitter sex pics

US congressman, renowned for his use of social media, caught sending ‘bulge’ shot to female followers

Anthony Weiner

From America, a lesson in the perils of social networking, where Democrat congressman Anthony Weiner has been forced to issue a groveling apology to his wife at a press conference where he admitted sending explicit pictures of himself to women on Twitter and Facebook and having phone sex with strangers. The 46-year-old, who was tipped to run for mayor of New York in 2013, is refusing to resign over the scandal, insisting that he has not broken any rules. But he has been made a laughing stock after the photos he sent to various women - including the now infamous 'bulge' picture of his Y-fronts (above) - were published online. To make it all the more embarrassing, Weiner, who represents Queens and Brooklyn in Congress, is renowned for being tech-savvy. As US website Politico put it: "Weiner, more than almost any other lawmaker, understood how to exploit social media." However, he made a fundamental error at the end of last month when he sent the aforementioned bulge-shot to a woman on Twitter, forgetting to make it private and instead posting it for the world to see. The picture had apparently been intended for Seattle student Gennette Cordova but soon found its way onto a website run by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.  When the story broke, Weiner responded by claiming his account had been hacked, but at yesterday’s humiliating press conference in Manhattan, with his nemesis Breitbart in attendance, he admitted: "To be clear, the picture was of me and I sent it." He also told the assembled media: "Over the past few years I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email and occasionally on the phone with women I had met online." That appears to have been confirmed by other women who have come forward. Among them are 26-year-old Meagan Broussard who was sent the 'bulge' picture on May 18, and Las Vegas blackjack dealer Lisa Weiss who claims she had phone sex with the politician. During the press conference Weiner broke down as he apologised to his wife, Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, but refused to resign, saying: "I don't believe I did anything here that violates any law or violates my oath to my constituents," he said.

However, Nancy Pelosi the leader of the Democrats in Congress has announced an investigation and Weiner is said to face an uncertain future.

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