A timeline of events in the online sex scandal involving Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.:
Friday, May 27: Weiner uses his Twitter account to send a waist-down photograph of a man’s underpants to a 21-year-old female college student in Seattle. He quickly deletes it and sends out a tweet saying that his Facebook account was hacked.
Saturday, May 28: BigGovernment.com, a website run by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, first reports that Weiner sent the lewd photo. Weiner was a Twitter follower of the female college student who received the photo.
Sunday, May 29: A Weiner spokesman tells AP that the lewd photograph of a crotch sent from Weiner’s Twitter account was just “a distraction” perpetrated by a hacker.
Tuesday, May 31: Weiner returns to Capitol Hill after the Memorial Day weekend and testily fends off reporters’ questions about whether he sent the lewd photo.
“I’m not going to talk about this anymore,” Weiner told reporters. “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.”
Weiner declines to answer reporters’ questions about the photo or why he was hiring a lawyer for the case instead of having law enforcement officials pursue the matter.
Wednesday, June 1: Weiner does a round of network and cable TV interviews, telling MSNBC that he cannot say “with certitude” whether the photo of a man’s underpants was of him or not. He jokes a little about it.
“I’m not sure I want to put national, federal resources into trying to figure out who posted a picture on Weiner’s website, uh, whatever,” he says in explaining why he didn’t report the alleged hacking to Capitol Police. I’m not really sure it rises, no pun intended, to that level.”
Monday, June 6: The scandal escalates as Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com website publishes photos purportedly from a second woman who said she received shirtless shots of the congressman. The site says the pictures were in a cache of intimate online photographs, chats and email exchanges the woman claimed to have. The website does not identify the woman.
Responding, a tearful Weiner makes a profuse public apology at a Manhattan news conference. He admits sending a photo of his underwear-clad crotch to a young woman over Twitter and then lying repeatedly to protect himself.
“This was me doing a dumb thing, and doing it repeatedly, and lying about it,” says Weiner.
Weiner also admits he had engaged in inappropriate contact with six women over the course of three years through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and occasionally over the phone. He says he had never met or had a physical relationship with any of the women and was not even sure of their ages.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi calls for a House ethics investigation into whether he broke the rules. Democratic leaders voice disappointment and embarrassment, reflecting an erosion of support for Weiner.
Weiner insists he did nothing wrong, and begins making calls to Democratic colleagues to apologize. He says he has no plans to resign.
Tuesday, June 7: With most Democrats still keeping an uncomfortable silence, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid steps out and delivers a sharp rebuff to Weiner. It’s a clear sign of mounting frustrations fellow Democrats have with a scandal they want to see over as soon as possible.
“I know Congressman Weiner,” Reid told reporters. “I wish there was some way I can defend him, but I can’t.”
Wednesday, June 8: An X-rated photo Weiner purportedly took of himself surfaces on a website. Weiner’s office issues a statement that did not deny it had been taken of him.
News breaks that Weiner’s wife of less than a year, Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, is pregnant. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., is the first of several House Democrats to say he should leave office. Pressure for Weiner to resign increases from Democrats.
Friday, June 10: Weiner acknowledges he had exchanged online messages with a 17-year-old girl in Delaware. He says nothing improper had passed between the two of them. At least 9 House Democrats and two Democratic senators call for Weiner to resign.
Saturday, June 11: Rebuffing calls from top Democratic leaders, including Pelosi, to resign, Weiner announces he plans to take a temporary leave of absence from the House and seek unspecified treatment.
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press