- Odd News
A Democratic congressman had to publicly reveal that he found out just three years ago that he had an illegitimate daughter after he accidentally sent her Tweets during the State of the Union.
Congressman Steve Cohen initially said that the 24-year-old model that he was tweeting during the televised speech was a family friend, but that didn't silence critics who thought it odd that the ended the messages by writing #ilu, which is short for 'I love you'.
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The married Congressman from Tennessee admitted on Thursday that Ashley Brink, the young woman he tweeted, is his daughter from a previous relationship and he only learned of her existence three years ago.
She had not publicly admitted that he was her father, but the two have grown close since Cohen contacted her mother- his former flame- for unspecified reasons.
He made their relationship public unintentionally on Tuesday when, instead of sending a message to the young woman directly, he sent it as a Tweet to his more than 6,000 followers.
'When she let me know she was watching the State of the Union address I was thrilled that she wanted Steve Cohen to be part of her. I had such joy, that I couldn’t hold back from tweeting her,' he told NBC's Luke Russert.
The 63-year-old, three-term Congressman said that he only discovered that he had fathered the young woman only when he did a Google search of her mother- whose identity has not been disclosed- and found out that she had a daughter.
Unintended audience: Though he meant to send it as a direct message, he sent it to his 6,000 followers and deleted it shortly after
He contacted her after realizing that the 'math looked pretty accurate'.
'The mom told me we had a lot of catching up to do,' he told NBC.
Cohen said that the mother confirmed that he was the father, saying that she sees physical similarities between the two.
The mother said: 'Every time I look at her I see the German Jew in her face.'
Cohen told NBC: 'I’m Lithuanian- close enough.'
Cohen's heritage is a proud point for the politician, as he is the first Jewish congressman from Tennessee.
From there, he began to build a relationship with Ms Brink, taking her on a tour of the Capitol and White House.
He went on to share a picture from the White House Christmas party with NBC reporter Luke Russert, who said via Twitter that during their interview 'Cohen was emotional while telling the story about his daughter, fought back tears, could feel genuine fatherly emotion.'
While the emotional reunion likely silences political watchers, it doesn't necessarily quiet his constituents who take issue with the fact he was tweeting at all.
'That goes to show you he had his mind on other things except the State of the Union,' Jerome Holloway from Memphis told local news station WMCTV.
'Everybody carries a phone but it should have been off for something that important.'