For the second time this year, the internet is abuzz with photos of what appears to be a shirtless, married congressman from New York.
A week after Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., doubled down on his claim that a lewd photo sent from his Twitter account was the result of a “prank” or “hack,” the conservative site biggovernment.com has published what appear to be shirtless photos of the lawmaker that were allegedly sent to a young woman via email.
The latest photo published on the conservative site appears to be the bare-chested congressman, posed in an office with photographs visible in the background that resemble himself and his wife.
According to the site, run by provocateur Andrew Breitbart, the image was released to him by an unidentified young woman who says she received the image on Friday, May 20, from a Yahoo email address that she claims serves as an alias for Weiner.
The site also published several other bare-chested images of Weiner that it says were accessible by an internet search of that email alias.
The images come just months after Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., was forced to resign when similar images came to light, ultimately revealing Lee’s provocative interactions with various women via Craigslist.
Weiner told NBC’s Luke Russert last week that he could not say “with certitude” that a below-the-belt photo allegedly sent from his Twitter account last weekend was not of him, but he insisted that he did not send the image to a 21-year-old college student.
Weiner’s office has not responded to journalists’ requests for comment since the images began trickling into the blogosphere today.
A House Democratic leadership aide also tells NBC News that so far nobody in congressional leadership has been in contact with Weiner today.
In an interview, Breitbart told NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo that he is in the possession of more photos and other online communications between Weiner and the unidentified woman. The woman first approached Breitbart and told him she had been engaging in a consensual online "sexting" relationship with the congressman, Breitbart said.
Breitbart’s tactics are generally eyed with some suspicion by objective news sources. His exposure of a speech by Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod led to a media brouhaha over her perceived racist statements before a full screening of the edited video revealed manipulation of her words; he was also involved in the 2009 controversy around a heavily edited video by James O’Keefe that contributed to the demise of ACORN.
NBC's Mara Schiavocampo talks about her conversations with conservative activist Andrew Breitbart.