Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) signaled his belief that pictures of Osama bin Laden's dead body should not be released to the public during an interview on Wednesday, saying he's "seen the photos." However, that was before the Obama administration announced it would not disclose the graphic images.
Once it became clear that Brown had not seen the pictures in question, the senator found himself having to do damage control.
"The photo that I saw and that a lot of other people saw is not authentic," said Brown in a one-sentence statement, according to the Boston Globe.
Brown's office is declining to explain who showed him the fake photos, why he would believe photos that didn't come directly from the administration, and why he had suggested he had seen them as part of an official briefing.
The Massachusetts senator initially told NECN, "Let me assure you that he is dead, that bin Laden is dead, I have seen the photos." He added, "If it's to sell newspapers or just have a news cycle story, no, I don't think they should be released."
CBS News reports that Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said earlier in the day that they too had seen the pictures of bin Laden that ultimately weren't disclosed by the administration.
But Ayotte released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that she's not sure the picture was real.
And Chambliss - the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee - released an oblique statement Wednesday afternoon saying in part, "when I see the photos, I can make a judgment about the potential damage they may do."
HuffPost's Jen Bendry reports on the administration's decision to not release the photos:
President Barack Obama will not release photos of Osama bin Laden’s dead body as proof that he was killed, CBS News reported Wednesday.
Obama announced his decision on the matter during an interview with “60 Minutes” set to air Sunday.
Top U.S. intelligence officials have been increasingly divided over the benefits of releasing photos as proof that the al Qaeda leader was killed Sunday during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.