Nightly News   |  June 06, 2011

Weiner: Lewd photo ‘was of me’

Following days of denials, the lawmaker admitted to having “several inappropriate conversations with women” he met online, but said he has no intention of resigning. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

WILLIAMS: Good evening.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: The age of oversharing has claimed another victim. A man who wanted badly to some day go from Congressman Anthony Weiner to perhaps Mayor Anthony Weiner of the city of New York ; he is a young, ambitious and volatile Democrat in the House of Representatives , and that's all people knew about him until a lewd picture of him surfaced from his own Twitter account, and that started all this days ago. He denied it was him first at first, then left it vague. Then today, at a rather humiliating and dark press conference, just the latest political self-immolation. He copped to years of improper computer contacts with women other than his wife. Though he said he never met any of them, he asked for forgiveness from all and says he intends to stay in Congress . We begin tonight with NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell . Kelly , good evening.

KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: Good evening, Brian . Not just embarrassing, tonight Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is urging the Ethics Committee to determine if Congressman Weiner broke any rules or violated any laws. He said he did not, but did talk about years of inappropriate behavior. Wiping back tears, an emotional Anthony Weiner admits he lied.

Representative ANTHONY WEINER: I'd like to make it clear that I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people I care about the most, and I'm deeply sorry.

O'DONNELL: The New York Democrat tried to unwind days of controversy.

Rep. WEINER: I've exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years.

O'DONNELL: Weiner says he sent sexually suggestive photos and messages using Facebook and Twitter . Among the photos that surfaced online, the congressman appears shirtless, and acknowledged more explicit photos of him exist. Weiner says he never met the women but spoke to some by phone. In Congress 12 years, Weiner says he will not step down.

Rep. WEINER: I am deeply regretting what I have done, and I am not resigning.

O'DONNELL: The 46-year-old married one of Secretary Hillary Clinton 's closest, longtime aides last summer. His wife was not by his side today.

Rep. WEINER: We have been through a great deal together, and we will -- we will weather this. I love her very much, and she loves me.

O'DONNELL: When the scandal broke last week, Weiner claimed that he was a victim.

Rep. WEINER: I made it very clear I didn't send the picture, that my Twitter account had been hacked.

O'DONNELL: And today:

Rep. WEINER: To be clear, the picture was of me, and I sent it. I'm deeply sorry for the pain this has caused my wife, Huma .

O'DONNELL: Weiner 's conduct and the uproar it led to started on social media , a novel outlet for an old kind of scandal.

Mr. CHRISTOPHER LeHANE (Democratic Strategist): Yeah, I do think it's going to be a watershed moment in how elected officials and others communicate via social media platforms.

O'DONNELL: In a bizarre twist, before Weiner spoke, the congressman's podium was taken over by the conservative blogger who broke the story and defended the accuracy of his posts. Weiner spoke to a packed room, answering dozens of questions for about 30 minutes. And he apologized again and again to his wife, constituents, the women involved, even the media, for his conduct and his cover-up. Brian :

WILLIAMS: Kelly O'Donnell starting us off on the Hill tonight. Kelly ,