UPDATED 2:25 p.m.
Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee claimed Friday that he sent tweets to pop singer Cyndi Lauper, including one calling her "hot," and deleted them in order to draw the attention of a website that monitors politicians' deleted tweets. The website would then publicize the tweets to Lauper, Cohen claimed, fooling the media and drawing more attention to a White House concert at which Lauper performed.
The Tennessee Democrat earlier this week sent two tweets to Lauper, who was performing at the Memphis Soul event at the White House Tuesday night.
"@cyndilauper great night,couldn't believe how hot u were.see you again next Tuesday.try a little tenderness," read one.
"Cyndi,Wow what a night!See you next Tuesday and Try a little tenderness again!Wow!What a special night.Thanks Steve," read the other.
Cohen deleted those tweets, but not before they were picked up by the Sunlight Foundation's Politwoops website and broadcast by media outlets, many of which noted the "hot" reference.
Cohen has gotten in trouble on Twitter before. In February, Politwoops disclosed that Cohen had deleted tweets expressing love to a young woman whom the lawmaker admitted was a daughter he recently learned he had fathered.
On Friday, Cohen quickly called a press conference in his office to say the Lauper tweets were just a ruse and a form of payback to those who reported on the tweets to his daughter.
He read from the following statement:
“Two months ago, my family was personally hurt and victimized by sensationalized, fact-less speculation masquerading as journalism. I hope this serves to bring attention to the need for journalistic integrity as well as encouraging everyone to watch the spectacular and hot performances of Memphis music."
Oh, and that "hot" reference?
Cohen said he was "amazed at Cyndi Lauper's hot performance."
He added, "That’s what the tweet said but that’s not how it has been speciously interpreted in the media."