Update: In a private press conference with CBS and NBC reporters, Representative Steve Cohen revealed that the blonde Texas State student to whom he was tweeting “ilu” (a.k.a. “I love you”) during the State of the Union was in fact his daughter, who he learned about three years ago.

Cohen said that he Googled the girl’s mother, his old flame, and discovered that she had had a child who, it would seem, was conceived around the time of their relationship. When he called his old flame up, Politico reports, she said that they had a lot of catching up to do. 

Apparently Cohen was so excited to receive a tweet from his daughter during the State of the Union that he couldn’t help but tweet back.”I was thrilled that she wanted Steve Cohen to be a part of her,” he told NBC’s Luke Russert (who broke the news on his Twitter). “I had such joy.”

In between political tweeting during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Representative Steve Cohen (D- Tenn.) squeezed in a little love–or at least a few “ilu” tweets. His flirtations were directed at Victoria Brink, a Texas State University student and bikini model, who kicked off the dialogue that evening by tweeting at Cohen: “just saw you on tv!”

The 63-year-old favorited it and promptly responded with an eloquent, “pleased u r watching .ilu.” The tweet was deleted three minutes later, but not before it was captured by Politwoops, a project started by the Sunlight Foundation in an effort to promote government transparency.

A few hours later, Cohen made a second attempt, tweeting: “nice to know you were watchin SOTU(state of the union).Happy Valentines beautiful girl. ilu.” This sweet nothing survived 15 minutes before being deleted, as well.  

Brink, a Houston native who hopes to work in the fashion industry, is the “daughter of a long time friend,” according to Cohen’s office. However, their questionable Twitter relationship began last February, when Cohen favorited Brink’s first ever tweet, New York Magazine reported.

Later that year, Brink reached out:

Cohen’s spokesman Michael Pagan told New York Magazine that Tuesday’s tweets were meant to be private direct messages and that Cohen and Brink are “pretty much like family.” (You’d think politicians would have mastered the difference between direct messages and public tweets by now…) Pagan emphasized that the relationship was not romantic, adding that the congressman has a “longtime girlfriend” in Memphis.

Some of Cohen’s other mid-State of the Union tweets were equally colorful. He commented on the stoic Republicans:

And lamented the chamber’s chilly climate: 

A list of Cohen’s tweets that have been deleted in the past can be found here.