Cory Booker's Twitter Messages to Stripper Revealed; NJ Mayor Downplays Private Tweets

Cory Booker's Twitter messages to an exotic dancer have been downplayed by the Senate candidate's campaign team. The Newark mayor messaged Portland, Ore. Stripper Lynsie Lee privately and publicly, but when she exposed the tweets on Twitter, Booker was forced to respond.

Although Cory Booker's Twitter messages were relatively innocent- he is a 44-year-old single man, after all, and he mainly complemented her, nothing more- the fact that a widely known political figure is at all involved with an exotic dancer was enough to put his campaign on the defensive.

"I think it's pretty well known that the mayor talks with people from all walks of life on Twitter," Kevin Griffis, Booker's campaign manager, told CNN. "Really, the most shocking part of this story was learning there is a vegan strip club in Portland."

Booker responded to the controversy on Thursday at a press conference as well, attempting to control the narrative on the story.

"That's really what this is, is me responding to people, which I do every single day," Booker explained. "And frankly, finally, I just have to say, it is all about just that, is about listening to people and engaging with people no matter what their profession."

"I've tweeted people back from all different backgrounds," he added. "It's not something I pay attention to. But when somebody's kind to me, I often say thank you."

The conversations between Booker and Lee began when they both appeared in a movie, "Follow Friday the Film," about Twitter and other social media interactions.

"Will you be at the #ffthefilm premier?" Lee asked Booker on Twitter March 10, to which he responded "I have a [dinner] but I'm going to try and go late."

Later in the day Booker tweeted about being President of the NJ Star Trek Club, and Lee replied "if you're ever POTUS I call dibs on First Lady." A conversation with another follower led her to admit that they "[direct message] on the reg," and she posted a picture of the brief exchange as proof.

"And the East Coast loves you and by the East Coast, I mean me," Booker privately messaged the stripper.

"Well now I'm blushing," she tweeted back. "It's only fair," the mayor responded.

Ever since the minor news broke- Booker's opponent, Republican Steve Lonegan of Bogota, N.J., declined to comment on it- Lee has gained many more followers on Twitter. She has explained that she never intended to hurt his campaign, however.

"If it hurts his campaign I will feel guilty, but I would want it to be for a viable reason, not for me just being a stripper," she told ABC News. "He's been nice to everyone he's ever tweeted to, so that's their own fault if they hate strippers. It's not his."

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