President Barack Obama yesterday had a message for disgraced New York Rep. Anthony Weiner: “If it was me, I’d resign.”
“He’s embarrassed himself. ... He’s embarrassed his wife and his family ... When you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can't serve as effectively as you need to ... then you should probably step back,” Obama said during an interview to be aired today on NBC’s “Today.”
This marked the first time Obama has weighed in on the bizarre situation that has galvanized the nation.
Meanwhile, the House last night approved a two-week leave of absence for Weiner as Congress reconvened and the House Ethics Committee launched a preliminary probe.
The married seven-term Congressman reportedly is getting help for sex addiction at an undisclosed location after it was revealed that he sent scores of salacious photos and texts to several women and then lied about it.
The Committee is investigating allegations that Weiner, 46, used government resources during the inappropriate interactions. Weiner said he used his personal BlackBerry and computer, but added, "I don't have the knowledge of every last communication.”
A day after 11 photos were published of Weiner seminude and grabbing his genitals -- reportedly in a House members’ gym – Republicans pressed Democrats to increase the pressure on Weiner to resign.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Democratic leaders should do more than tell him to step down, suggesting they take away his committee posts if he doesn’t quit soon.
House Dems are set to meet this morning and Weiner is expected to be a topic. They could try to oust him from the caucus or from his committee assignment on the Energy and Commerce panels.
Calls and emails to Weiner’s office went unanswered yesterday.
Weiner, who has apologized about the humiliating situation, has said he will make no decisions until his pregnant wife of nearly a year returns from a business trip to Africa. Huma Abedin, 34, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is slated to return tomorrow.