Anthony Weiner Heckled at Resignation Press Conference
By Bryan Lynn
New York Representative Anthony Weiner was repeatedly heckled during his press conference to resign after earlier admitting he used social media tools such and Twitter and Facebook to engage in sex-related conversations and share lewd photos with different women.
The 46-year-old Democratic congressman -- who had been at an undisclosed treatment facility since last weekend -- offered his resignation at a news conference Thursday in Brooklyn, NY. At the packed news conference, Weiner again apologized for "personal mistakes" he had made and said the scandal had made it "impossible" for him to keep serving in office.
Weiner was interrupted several times by hecklers who shouted loudly while the congressman spoke at the podium. One of the hecklers called Weiner a "pervert," while another repeatedly posed a lewd question. The embattled congressman did not acknowledge or address the hecklers.
There had been growing pressure in recent days from colleagues in the
House of Representatives for Weiner to step down. Even President Barack Obama recently weighed in on the issue, saying on Monday that if he were in Weiner's shoes, he would resign.
The scandal was triggered when the website BigGovernment.com posted a lewd photo of an underwear-clad crotch and claimed it had been sent from Weiner's Twitter account to a Seattle woman. Weiner initially denied he sent the image and explained that his account must have been hacked. But there were lingering doubts about his story, including the fact that he told one interviewer he could not "say with certitude" that he was not the man in the underwear picture.
He reversed his position at a news conference on June 6, confessing to having exchanged inappropriate messages -- via social media, e-mail and telephone -- with several women. He also apologized to his wife and supporters for his indiscretions and admitted that he lied in an effort to cover up the scandal. The confession added fuel to the media frenzy and a few days later an X-rated photo, alleged to be Weiner, surfaced online.
The scandal involving the lawmaker's secret online dalliances -- dubbed "Weinergate" by the media -- provided constant headline fodder to the New York tabloids and endless jokes for late-night talk show hosts.