CNN's Wolf Blitzer admitted Monday that he believed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) when the congressman told him in an interview that he did not send a lewd photo of himself over Twitter. Blitzer related to CNN's Piers Morgan Monday evening his thoughts immediately after the interview.
"I'm saying to myself, you know what, it sounds to me like it may have been his picture, but it was out there, but somebody else hacked it and somebody else sent it out to embarrass him. I sort of believed, you know, that line," he confessed.
[Click here for audio. Video below the break.]
Blitzer had revealed similar details earlier right after Weiner confessed Monday afternoon to sending the lewd picture of himself to a 21 year-old woman. "When I sat with [Weiner] about 20 minutes the other day he seemed so convincing," Blitzer observed, "he seemed to make the case, 'you know what, there may be photos out there but I did not send that photo on Twitter to that young college student in Washington state' and now he admits that was a flat out lie."
Also in the interview, Blitzer connected Weiner's lie with former President Clinton's cover-up of his relations with Monica Lewinsky. He said Clinton looked right at him as he lied about his relationship with Lewinski.
"I was the network television pool correspondent when [Clinton] looked me – and I was standing right there, and he had that famous line, 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky' – he was looking right at me when he said that."
Although, Blitzer bizarrely added, because Clinton was a Southerner the phrase "sexual relations" could have meant something different to him than to others and thus it may not have been a lie.
"Now, technically, as [Clinton] later testified, before, you know, the investigation, the phrase 'sexual relations' had a specific meaning in his mind as opposed to the kind of sex he and Monica Lewinsky were engaged in. So, technically, it may not have been a lie, because as a Southerner 'sexual relations' meant certain things to him that it didn't mean [to others]."
"Now, remember, Bill Clinton, he came through, and his reputation is very high right now," Blitzer affirmed.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on June 6 at approximately 9:07 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
PIERS MORGAN: Well, watching that clip of you and him, he was so credible, really. You know, he was looking you straight in the eye.
WOLF BLITZER: I've got to tell you, when I left that – I was in his Capitol Hill office, in the House of Representatives, and I remember rushing back to our CNN studios in Washington, and I'm saying to myself, you know what, it sounds to me like it may have been his picture, but it was out there, but somebody else hacked it and somebody else sent it out to embarrass him. I sort of believed, you know, that line, especially when some technology experts were telling me, there are certain Twitter, you know, TweetPic opportunities where it's not that difficult to get somebody else – to look like somebody else is sending a picture that really you're sending.
MORGAN: In all your time, Wolf, at CNN, have you ever had anyone in political life, reasonably high office, look you in the eye and lie like Anthony Weiner did?
BLITZER: Well, I was in the Roosevelt Room when Bill Clinton was accused of the Monica Lewinsky. I was the network television pool correspondent when he looked me – and I was standing right there, and he had that famous line, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" – he was looking right at me when he said that.
Now, technically, as he later testified, before, you know, the investigation, the phrase "sexual relations" had a specific meaning in his mind as opposed to the kind of sex he and Monica Lewinsky were engaged in. So, technically, it may not have been a lie, because as a Southerner "sexual relations" meant certain things to him that it didn't mean. But it sort of, you know, it reminded me of all of those sordid days. Now, remember, Bill Clinton, he came through, and his reputation is very high right now.
MORGAN: And it gets higher all the time. Maybe I asked you the wrong question, Wolf – is it the other way around? Is it, when these politicians look you in the eye, Wolf Blitzer, in these times of personal crisis, should we believe the complete opposite? Are you the barometer for them lying?
BLITZER: In all my years, and most almost always, you know, there are plenty of liars out there, but they tell the truth, and if they're going to – they don't blatantly lie as Anthony Weiner did, you know so specifically. He knew it was a lie, and he just spoke out the way he did, because he says he was embarrassed and he was –
MORGAN: He apologized to a few people from the podium. Has he apologized to you yet?
BLITZER: Well he apologized to everybody, he didn't apologize to me directly, specifically didn't call me up or anything like that, and he doesn't have to, you know. I think to our viewers, though, a lot of people were watching, here in the United States and around the world, you know, he went on television, he should have just, you know, kept his mouth shut and not said anything rather than blatantly going out there and lying. But he was arrogant, and he thought he could get away with it, as he himself now acknowledges, and he made a huge, huge mistake.
MORGAN: You've seen people resign or be fired over very serious financial impropriety and so on or criminal activity. This does raise again that whole issue of personal misbehavior against a political life or life in high office? What's your view? I mean, you've seen them come and go over the years. Do you actually believe that it is material to a man's fitness to preside in high office in American politics as to how he conducts himself in his private life?
BLITZER: I think to most Americans, it is. If you want to serve in the House or the Senate, or as President of the United States, for that matter, the American public wants to hold you up to a much higher standard, as if you're just a private citizen and you make a mistake and move on. But when you're elected to public office, they expect that you're going to have some standards right there. And, you know, he made a huge, huge mistake, and we'll see if he can survive this, (a), as I said, with his own marriage, but (b), with his political career.
MORGAN: Are you a betting man?
MORGAN: If you were, how long would you give him?
BLITZER: I don't know. I know there are other members of Congress, Chris Lee – that congressman from Upstate New York who showed that photo of him on Craigslist or whatever, he didn't survive. Some other members of Congress might survive. I think it's – I would say it's 50/50 right now, depends on how this falls out. And I think a lot will depend on how his wife reacts publicly as well, because she's a wonderful, wonderful woman. She doesn't deserve this.