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Pelosi defends altered photo of congresswomen

WASHINGTON (AP) — House minority leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday defended an altered picture of Democratic congresswomen that was posted on her Flickr photo-sharing site.

The photo showed four House members who were not in the original picture, which was taken Thursday when lawmakers were sworn in as members of the 113th Congress. They arrived at the Capitol steps late, and their images were inserted with a computer program.

"It was an accurate historical record of who the Democratic women of Congress are," Pelosi told a news conference. "It also is an accurate record that it was freezing cold and our members had been waiting a long time for everyone to arrive and ... had to get back into the building to greet constituents, family members, to get ready to go to the floor. It wasn't like they had the rest of the day to stand there."

Pelosi said the photo reflected the nation's diversity, because it included women from every community and religious faith.

"So we were pretty excited about it," Pelosi said. "We got a lot of response back from the country, and one I loved was when they said, 'Can the women in Congress hear the people cheering across the country?'"

There are 61 Democratic congresswomen including Pelosi.

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