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Congressman says deleted tweets were to his recently discovered daughter

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., tells NBC News that the 24-year-old woman he tweeted at during the State of the Union address was not a romantic interest, but in fact his daughter.

After “The Hill” reported that Cohen -- who is not married -- deleted tweets saying “ilu,” short for “I love you,” to Victoria Brink, Cohen claimed that nothing was inappropriate and that the woman was a daughter of an old family friend. That old family friend turned out to be an old girlfriend of Cohen’s and Victoria Brink's mother.

Cohen claimed the reason for tweeting Brink, who had not admitted publicly to Cohen being her dad, was genuine excitement.

“When she let me know she was watching the State of the Union address I was thrilled that she wanted Steve Cohen to be part of her. I had such joy, that I couldn’t hold back from tweeting her,” said Cohen.

The congressman would not elaborate on how he only found out three years ago that he had a daughter. He said circumstances led him to search on Google for the mother of his child.

“I googled her mother, found out she had a child and the math looked pretty accurate,” he said. “The mom told me we had a lot of catching up to do.”

Brink's mother then told Cohen, “'Yes every time I look at her I see the German Jew in her face,' I’m Lithuanian close enough.”

Cohen was emphatic that he was “proud to be her dad” and that he “loved her.” Cohen has gotten to know her well and even took her to the White House Christmas party and told NBC News that he’s proud she’s taken an interest in government and was watching the State of the Union.

“I’ve been able to take her on a tour of the Capitol and the White House, I want her to see my world and be a part of it,” he said.