WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairman of the Republican party says Rep. Anthony Weiner should resign after admitting he sent a lewd photo of himself on Twitter to a woman and then lied about it repeatedly.
Reince Priebus says in a statement that either House Democratic
leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz believe that members of Congress are held to a different standard, or they believe the congressman's actions demand his departure from the House.
The Democratic National Committee did not have an immediate
Weiner vowed on Monday he would not resign his seat, and
apologized repeatedly at a news conference for his actions.
Pelosi issued a statement afterwards calling for the House
ethics committee to investigate.
Weiner faces a cool reception from even some of his closest
allies in Congress as he clings to a once-promising political
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of the
Democratic leadership voiced their disappointment in Weiner and
pointedly urged the House ethics committee to launch an
investigation to determine if the outspoken New York Democrat broke
House rules. Their calls came shortly after the married Weiner's
profuse public apology for "inappropriate" online exchanges with
Pelosi pronounced herself "deeply disappointed and saddened."
The second-ranking House Democrat, Maryland's Steny Hoyer,
called for Weiner to make full disclosure.
The cool but so-far not fatal reception from his House
colleagues contrasted sharply with the fate that befell fellow New
York Rep. Christopher Lee, who sent a shirtless photo of himself to
a woman he met on Craigslist. Within a matter of hours of the photo
being disclosed, the Republican met with House Speaker John Boehner and resigned.
House Republicans have stated there would be zero tolerance for
misbehavior by members in their ranks. And even if Weiner did
nothing illegal, House ethics rules state that members must comport
themselves in a manner befitting their office, enough to trigger an
investigation into Weiner's online social life.
And House Democrats weren't exactly circling around him in
One of Weiner's New York colleagues, Rep. Steve Israel, chairman
of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said it would
rest with the voters of Weiner's district, which covers parts of
Brooklyn and Queens, to determine the seven-term congressman's
"Congressman Anthony Weiner engaged in a deep personal failure and inappropriate behavior that embarrassed himself, his family and the House," Israel said. "Ultimately, Anthony and his
constituents will make a judgment about his future."
New York's senior senator, Chuck Schumer, said in a statement
that he was "deeply pained and saddened by today's news. By fully
explaining himself, apologizing to all he hurt and taking full
responsibility for his wrongful actions, Anthony did the right
thing. He remains a talented and committed public servant, and I
pray he and his family can get through these difficult times."
Weiner on Monday admitted sending a lewd photo of his
underwear-clad crotch to a young woman over Twitter and then lying
repeatedly to protect himself.
The extraordinary confession at a packed Manhattan news
conference was a remarkable turn of events for the brash Weiner,
who conceded to a "hugely regrettable" lapse in judgment.
Weiner insisted he had done nothing wrong and said he would
fully cooperate with a House inquiry.
Weiner said he used his home computer and personal Blackberry,
not government computers, in his exchanges with the women. But that may not protect him from House rules that say a member "shall
conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect
creditably on the House."
On numerous occasions, the House ethics committee has cited that general rule in finding that a lawmaker violated standards of
Weiner also acknowledged that he had engaged in inappropriate
contact with six women over the course of three years through
social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and occasionally
over the phone. He said he had never met or had a physical
relationship with any of the women and was not even sure of their
ages. He also said he had never had sex outside of his marriage.
The news conference, unusually blunt even by New York standards, went on nearly half an hour and capped a week of double-entendre, tabloid-headlines and late-night jokesters' snide comments. With eyes welling and voice breaking, Weiner fielded questions from dozens of shouting reporters as the cameras clicked.
Weiner said over and over that he had made "terrible mistakes"
and done "a very dumb thing" for which he alone bore
responsibility, and he apologized repeatedly to his wife, Huma
Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"My wife is a remarkable woman. She's not responsible for any
of this," he said. "I apologize to her very deeply."
Abedin did not attend his news conference, but Weiner said they
would not be separating over the scandal.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)