Rep. Anthony Weiner told Rachel Maddow Wednesday that he couldn't rule out the possibility that the underwear-clad groin in question was his -- though he said it could have been somehow altered, and that he didn't send it.
He also said his name may have made him the target of a prankster.
"I write it off basically as a prank," he said.
Weiner said he was on Twitter when he saw the image appear. Maddow asked Wiener point blank if the shot might have "started out as a private photo of yours that ended up in the public domain accidentally or at least in a way that you didn't intend."
"Well, it could be, or it could have been a photograph that was, that's taken out of context or manipulated or changed in some way," Wiener said. "So, maybe it did or maybe it's a photograph that was dropped into an account from somewhere else. I mean, I can't say. I don't want to cast this net wider by saying it's someone else. So, I’m going to say that I can't say with certitude it's me or it's not."
Asked at another point if the photo was of him, he joked, "Am I allowed to say I wish?" before adding that he has investigators looking into how the photo could have been sent from his account.
"I don’t -- look, we don't know for sure. The photo doesn't look familiar to me. But a lot of people who have been looking at this stuff on our behalf are cautioning me that, you know, stuff gets manipulated, stuff gets -- you know, you can change a photograph, you can manipulate a photograph, you can doctor a photograph," he said.
"And so, I don't want to say with certitude it maybe didn't start out being a photograph of mine, and now, looks something different or maybe it was something that was from another account that got sent to me. I don’t -- I can't say for sure. I don't want to say with certitude and I’m not trying to be evasive. I just don't know."
He also said whoever sent the photo was likely playing off his name.
"The simple fact here is that what this appears to be is probably what it is: Someone making fun of my name, someone trying to cause trouble for me, maybe poke fun at me ... When your name is Wiener and someone posts a picture like that, the most obvious conclusion is that someone was pranking me or punking me, and I get that."
Watch the interview: