Silence, vagueness from Dems on Weiner photo

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It seemed to be a bad week for politicians and their social media elsewhere, too. The Twitter account of the speaker of the Ohio House, William Batchelder, was hacked and phony comments were posted making it appear the Republican leader was championing liberal causes.

Weiner failed in a 2005 bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City, but has been considered a likely front-runner in the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg when the mayor’s third and final term ends in 2013.

Republicans were content to highlight the incident’s many unanswered questions. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told Fox News that Weiner needed to “come clean.”

“There’s a lot of explaining going on without a lot of clarity,” said Cantor, a Virginia Republican. “The American people are right in saying that they don’t have tolerance for this repeated kind of activity going on surrounding their elected leaders.”

House Speaker John Boehner, asked twice about the incident at his weekly news conference, said reporters needed to “talk to Rep. Weiner.”

But by then Weiner had declared he didn’t want to talk about it. Emerging from his office to a phalanx of reporters on Thursday morning, Weiner said he was going to get back to work, but if they needed anything to make their stay in the hallway more comfortable he was happy to help.

Weiner has hired an attorney and a private firm to investigate. But Twitter’s policy states it will not provide information about postings without a subpoena, court order or other legal documents, raising questions about why law enforcement wasn’t investigating a possible cybercrime against a member of Congress.

Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police, said Thursday the department was not probing the incident, because “we have not been asked to investigate.”

By hiring a private firm, Weiner controls the release of information about the investigation.

There were also questions about why the congressman, married recently to an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was following the female college student on Twitter.

The woman has been identified by media outlets as Gennette Cordova. Despite multiple calls to phone numbers and an email address for Cordova, she could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

Weiner, 46, married Clinton aide Huma Abedin last July, with former President Bill Clinton officiating. Before that, Weiner had been known as one of New York’s most eligible bachelors.

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Associated Press writers Andrew Miga, Henry C. Jackson, Erica Werner and Alan Fram in Washington and videojournalist Bonny Ghosh in New York contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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