Weiner didn't communicate with underage girls -- but only to the best of his knowledge 

When news first broke that Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-NY, had decided to give a press conference this afternoon in the wake of the mushrooming scandal involving photos he sent to females he met on social media websites, I knew we were in for a bizarre afternoon. But I couldn't have predicted how absurd it would turn out to be.

First,  there was the fact that Andrew Breitbart hijacked the press conference as Weiner ran late, claiming vindication and demanding an apology. Then, a weeping, sniffling, Weiner came to the podium to admit that the racy photo that emerged from his Twitter account last month was in fact sent by him and not the result of a "hack" as he had claimed.

The self-flagellation show went on for about a half hour, with Weiner repeatedly saying he was "deeply ashamed" and had made a "big mistake," first by fostering online relationships with females he met on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter despite being married, then by exchanging photos with those he met, and then spending all last week lying after he was caught. "I lied because I was embarassed," Weiner insisted.

"I don't know what I was thinking," he said, and several times emphasized, "This was a very dumb thing to do."

Of all the things he said, none of them were more destructive than when he was asked whether he knew for sure that all of the females he was communicating with were adults. He would only say they were, "to the best of my knowledge."

Even if you take him at his word (and this is the guy who claimed that he couldn't with "certitude" identify a photo of him in his underwear), it's extra sleazy that he would engage in these sort of relationships without even knowing for sure whether he was swapping photos with underage girls.

Ultimately, Weiner declined to resign. Whether or not he survives this episode, at the very minimum, his chances  of being elected mayor of New York City have taken a severe hit.

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Philip Klein

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