Cory Booker, the Newark mayor and Twitter aficionado who's campaigning to become a United States senator, has reportedly been messaging a vegan stripper online, but no one really cares.
BuzzFeed unearthed a few direct messages that Booker, 44, exchanged with 26-year-old Lynsie Lee, a tattooed stripper at a so-called vegan strip club in Portland, Ore.
"And the East Coast loves you and by the East Coast, I mean me," Booker says in one message.
"Well now I'm blushing :)" Lee replies.
"It's only fair," Booker says.
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That's the extent of the direct messages, but some media outlets seem intent on turning Booker's innocent Twitter conversations into an Anthony Weiner-esque scandal.
The Atlantic accused BuzzFeed, which made sure to include a bunch of topless photos of Lee to seemingly make its story more salacious, of trying to end the politician's senate run.
"BuzzFeed has put its readers through the same sort of torture that stripper Lynsie Lee's customers pay her for — slow-building arousal, followed by nothing. What a tease!" The Atlantic's Elspeth Reeve wrote.
"The DMs were so banal, in fact, that conservatives immediately had to imagine a darker conspiracy was afoot."
"The DMs themselves could be out of a Victorian courtship primer… What’s the big deal? Not much," Mediaite's Tommy Christopher wrote.
"Cory Booker DMs a lot, and he's single, so if you view this as flirtation rather than innocuous charm, so… what?"
Booker's PR team also made light of the situation in a statement about his messages with the vegan stripper.
"I think it's pretty well-known that the mayor talks with people from all walks of life on Twitter," Booker spokesman Kevin Griffis told New York magazine's Daily Intelligencer.
"There have been a couple of stories about that over the years. Really, the most shocking part of this story was learning there is a vegan strip club in Portland."
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