This is a weird one. The day after President Obama's State of the Union, there were reports of Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen sending what, at the time, seemed like flirtatious tweets to Victoria Brink, a 24-year-old model and former Texas State University student. Those tweets, which were quickly deleted and included messages like "nice to know you were watchin SOTU(state of the union). Happy Valentines beautiful girl. Ilu," seemed like your standard social media mishap by a middle-aged horndog politician.
Some digging from the Daily Intelligencer led to a comment from Cohen's communication director, Michael Pagan, who said Brink is the "daughter of a longtime friend and they're pretty much like family." Pagan also told Daily Intelligencer that Cohen had known Brink for "pretty much" her whole life and that Cohen had a longterm girlfriend in Memphis. So, a denial that didn't do much to dissuade people that something odd and probably inappropriate was going on. End of story, right?
Nope. As Luke Russert reports, Brink is actually Cohen's secret daughter, and not his secret lover or "family friend."
Breaking: Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) tells me woman he tweeted during SOTU is in fact his daughter, he only learned of her 3 yrs ago.
— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) February 14, 2013
According to Russert, Cohen's known about Brink for three years and found out about her after searching for her mother online.
"I googled her mother, found out she had a child and the math looked pretty accurate," he said. "The mom told me we had a lot of catching up to do."
Brink's mother then told Cohen, "'Yes every time I look at her I see the German Jew in her face,' I'm Lithuanian close enough."
So, yes. It turns out it's not your standard middle-aged politician affair. Instead, it's your standard "politician finds long-lost daughter on Google, keeps their relationship secret for three years and then publicly tweets at her during State of the Union, forcing him to reveal their relationship two days after" affair.
[Image via Luke Russert]