Real estate mogul Donald Trump thinks it has to be one or the other.
“He obviously knows it’s him and the way he’s handled it is either lying or incompetent, and either one is acceptable,” said Trump in a CNN interview.
“It was him because otherwise he would have said it wasn’t me,” he said.
Trump asserts that people must know whether or not a photo like that was taken of them. Weiner, however, has doggedly refused to definitively deny that the photo was of him.
His stated reason for the refusal is that he doesn’t want to say anything with “certitude” before his team of investigators can get to the bottom of this situation.
Weiner did deny that he sent the photo from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old female college student; instead, he claims a hacker did it.
Still, Weiner’s persistent silence and ambiguity about his photo made “what could’ve been a small story into a very, very big story,” said Trump.
Indeed, reporters said as much in a confrontation with him on Tuesday when one of them said to him “all you have to do is say no.”
Weiner’s fellow Democrats are avoiding the issue when reporters have brought it up. Meanwhile, Eric Cantor, the Republican House Leader, said the following on Fox:
“My advice would be to come clean and clear it up. Again, perhaps he's trying, but I know there's a lot of explaining going on but without a lot of clarity.”
The bottom line is that Weinergate is now a scandal. If he had just categorically denied everything from the get-go, it wouldn’t have become a big deal. Why he didn’t do the categorical denying remains a mystery.