Weiner won't flatly answer "no" when asked if he's still sexting with women

He implies that it ended a year ago, but there’s no reason to resort to implication if “no” is the correct answer. Either he’s still sexting and feels obliged to hedge about it, as if lying unabashedly and then getting caught later would somehow do any more damage to his public image, or he’s so used to shading the truth that he can’t help shading it even when the truth is, “No, I haven’t sexted a soul since summer 2012.”

That’s the bad news. The good news? He still enjoys strong support from a core constituency: Escorts.

Q. There is no one you are sexting now?

A. You can quibble about beginnings, middles and ends but what we’re talking about is over a year ago.

When asked whether Huma would continue to campaign for him, he answered, “Yes, I think so,” which is also intriguingly vague given the effort from Clintonworld over the past 24 hours in nudging her to get him to drop out. (When asked last night at a campaign event if the Clintons’ disapproval bugged him, Weiner answered, “I am not terribly interested in what people who are not voters in the city of New York have to say.” Heh.) But wait, you say — didn’t Weiner tell the New York Times back in April when they published that splashy magazine piece re-introducing him and Huma to the public that he wasn’t sexting anymore? Actually, no — because the Times never specifically asked him:

Reading through the story, it’s clear that Van Meter’s piece was premised on the notion that Weiner’s self-destructive online activities had long, long since ceased. Had he pushed the politico on just when he gave up his lewd relationships with other women on the Internet, Van Meter’s recorder would have scored some precious words from Weiner. Or perhaps even a prolonged period of silence. When asked about that point, Van Meter replied via Facebook message: “Never even occurred to me to ask! I just assumed it had stopped when he got caught, lost his job and started therapy to save his marriage.”

Normally I’d say that’s not a major omission because Weiner would have simply lied about it if they had asked, but there’s no way to square that assumption with how he answered the question when the Daily News posed it yesterday. This is one of the strangest things about him: It’s not just that he lies compulsively, it’s that sometimes he doesn’t lie when he has every incentive to do so. I read a post the other day somewhere speculating that because Weiner’s fundamentally an exhibitionist, deep down he kind of likes talking about this stuff publicly. I get that sense too from watching him take questions from the media lately; all they want to talk about is the sexting and lies and yet there’s no real exasperation from him in wanting to get back to “the issues.” Maybe that explains his answer to the Daily News. If he’s sexting right now, during the campaign, and that ends up being revealed, whether or not he lied about it to a reporter won’t matter. He’s got no reason not to lie, then, and yet … he can’t resist hinting, however vaguely, that he might still be doing it. That’s one of many things that distinguish him from Bill Clinton. If you’re going to have a scandal, at least try not to come off pathetic from it. Voters hate weakness like that, but Weiner seemingly can’t avoid it.

In lieu of an exit question, go read what it’s like being an intern for the Weiner campaign. Quote: ” He got the next three interns’ names wrong, and then called the whole thing off.”