On Wednesday, BuzzFeed News published an interview with the teenage girl who allegedly got indecent messages from Anthony Weiner.
Her story has received renewed attention since FBI Director James Comey announced on Friday that an investigation was continuing into Hillary Clinton's private email server, following the discovery of new emails. As the New York Times first reported, the emails were discovered on the private computer of Weiner, 52, and his wife, Huma Abedin, a top Clinton aide, by investigators probing messages the disgraced former congressman allegedly sent to the underage 15-year-old girl, now 16.
The teen told BuzzFeed News she was upset with Comey for giving no warning her case was set to be thrust into the national spotlight and tainted with electoral politics.
The FBI declined to comment on the case. BuzzFeed News independently confirmed the teen's identity, in part, via an email provided by Weiner, by traveling to her hometown, and by speaking with her and her father.
The teen wrote this open letter, printed in full below, to James Comey and provided it to BuzzFeed News.
Mr. James Comey
November 2, 2016
I am the 15-year-old (now 16) who was the victim of Anthony Weiner. I now add you to the list of people who have victimized me. I told my story originally to protect other young girls that might be a victim of online predators.
Your letter to Congress has now brought this whole matter back into the media spotlight. Not even 10 minutes after being forensically interviewed with the FBI for seven hours, I received a phone call from a REPORTER asking for a statement. Why didn’t you communicate with the local FBI agents that I had just spoken to? They could have scheduled our interview sooner or scheduled a time to interview me later, or change locations of the interview. My neighborhood has been canvassed by reporters asking for details about me.
In your letter, you chose to use a vague approach, meaning the media had to keep searching to try and find out what evidence you had uncovered and how. Every media outlet from local to national has contacted me and my family to get my “story.” Why couldn’t your letter have waited until after the election, so I would not have to be the center of attention the last week of the election cycle?
In his “cooperation” with you and with his love of the spotlight, Anthony Weiner has given information that led to the media finding me. You have assisted him in further victimizing me on every news outlet. I can only assume that you saw an opportunity for political propaganda.
I thought your job as FBI Director was to protect me. I thought if I cooperated with your investigation, my identity as a minor would be kept secret. That is no longer the case. My family and I are barraged by reporters' phone calls and emails. I have been even been blamed in a newspaper for causing Donald Trump to now be leading in some polls and costing Hillary the election.
Anthony Weiner is the abuser. Your letter helped that abuse to continue. How can I rebuild my life when you have made finding out my “story” the goal of every reporter? When I meet with my therapist next time, she will already know what we are going to talk about before I get there by reading Friday, October 28th, 2016’s New York Times article.
I may have been Weiner’s victim, but the real story here is that I am a survivor. I am strong, intelligent, and certain that I will come out from under this nightmare, but it will not be as a result of your doing your job to protect me. I hope that by making my letter to you public, you will think about how your actions affect the victims of the crimes you are investigating. The election is important, yes, but what happened to me and how it makes me feel and how others see me, is much more important. It’s time that the FBI Director puts his victims’ rights above political views.
— Girl that lost her faith in America
P.S. To all reporters: AP, FOX, CBS, NBC, and all other media outlets, please respect my position and stop interrupting my life!
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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