US Representative Anthony Weiner became the centre of a growing controversy this week in Congress after allegedly sending a lewd picture of himself to a female student, which he denies.
The New York Democrat claims his Twitter account was hacked when a close-up of a man's underwear was posted there and addressed to Gennette Nicole Cordova, a 21-year-old journalism student in Seattle. The image has since been removed.
"It was a prank," he told journalists after a vote in the House of Representatives. "I didn't send this photograph, someone did."
Weiner said he was tweeting about a hockey game when the image popped up.
"I deleted it, and one person got it," he added, saying he did not know the woman on the receiving end.
Asked whether he was the man seen in the photograph, Weiner said: "we don't know where this photo came from."
In an interview with NBC television, the lawmaker said he "can't say with certitude" that the photograph was of him.
"This seems like it was a prank, to make fun of my name. You know, when your name is Weiner, that happens a lot," he told CNN.
Weiner's Twitter account just passed the 50,000 mark of followers.