Texas woman forces NY congressman to come clean

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 7 at 4:07 PM

Poll:
Should Rep. Weiner resign from Congress?

DALLAS — Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) might never have stepped forward to make an embarrassing admission on Monday had it not been for a 26-year-old Texas woman.

"No, I don't think he's a bad guy," Meagan Broussard told ABC's 20/20. "I think he's got issues. Just like everybody else."

Public records show Broussard lived in Beaumont and later in Killeen. According to her Facebook page, she worked for the U.S. Army and is studying to become a nurse.

Broussard said she met the married Congressman on Facebook after commenting on one of his videos.

"He said, 'I'm an open book,'" Broussard recounted to ABC. "Maybe too open."

She said she received 100 instant messages from Weiner. The two also exchanged risque photos.

Broussard said she received photos several from him, one showing the bare chest of the congressman, and another of him posing in underwear.

It turns out that Broussard was one of six women to whom Weiner admitted sending lewd pictures and with whom he had inappropriate online conversations.

"It's not good, but I think his punishment was this afternoon before the world," said Allan Saxe, a veteran political science professor from the University of Texas at Arlington.

During a news conference on Monday, Weiner pledged not to resign.

Regardless whether Weiner is re-elected next year, Saxe said the congressman's punishment is already under way.

"This is mistrust. It is ethical. No question about it, it is an ethical violation," Saxe said.

The scandal began last week when Weiner said he accidentally Tweeted that now-infamous photo  of himself wearing underwear. It was intended to be texted to a Seattle woman, Weiner admitted.

In a series of recent interviews, Rep. Weiner attempted to distance himself from the scandal. "I did not send that Tweet," he told ABC News last week. "My system was hacked. I was pranked. People make fun of my name all the time. When you're named Weiner, you get that."

Rep. Weiner's lie collapsed Monday afternoon when Broussard came forward, detailing their online conversations.

"I'm deeply sorry for the pain this has caused my wife and our family," he said tearfully Monday afternoon.

But as often happens in political scandals, it's not the act, but the cover-up that's most damaging.

E-mail  jwhitely@wfaa.com

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