WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner continued to try to extricate himself from allegations that he attempted to send a college student a lewd photo over the Twitter social network, though the congressman’s explanations did little to contain the sordid drama.

Weiner, 46, a brash Democrat from New York who is considered a rising star in his party, maintained Wednesday that his personal Twitter account had been hacked, but in television interviews he would not say for certain whether the crotch-level photo of a man dressed only in underwear was or was not him.

Weiner did deny he was the one who sent the photo to a 21-year-old female student in Seattle, an incident that became public over the Memorial Day weekend after conservative bloggers circulated the Twitter message.

He said that he had retained a private security firm to look into the matter, but would not call in either the Capitol police or the FBI.

“I just don’t think it rises to that level,” Weiner told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday. But, Weiner said, “I know for a fact that my account was hacked. It happens hundreds of thousands times every single day.”