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June 7th, 2011
06:45 PM ET

Democratic leaders ostracize Weiner

Washington (CNN) - Democratic leaders in Congress turned their backs Tuesday on embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner a day after the New York Democrat admitted to improper sexually tinged communications with women and lying about it.

"I wish there was some way I could defend him, but I can't," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters. Asked what he would say if Weiner sought advice, Reid smiled and responded: "I'd tell him to call someone else."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who called for an ethics investigation Monday, released a letter Tuesday that detailed her formal request for the inquiry. Weiner publicly apologized Monday for "sexting" on Facebook and Twitter with six women over the past three years and then denying it for a week.

Weiner has said he would "welcome and fully cooperate" with the probe. However, a senior Democratic aide said Pelosi's letter was not required, and her releasing it was more of a political move.

"This certainly adds pressure for him to go," said the senior Democratic aide, who spoke on condition of not being identified.

The public disrespect by his own party leaders bodes poorly for Weiner in the aftermath of a scandal that first surfaced over the Memorial Day weekend. Weiner said Tuesday he would not step down, but that didn't stop House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, from calling for his resignation.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. James

    Every politician lies because we expect them to lie and we accept it when they do. Pundits direct your attention to the lies of others and how their lies were accepted. The media cannot be trusted to address the issue honestly. It IS up to the voters.
    The standard is simple. If you would not allow a person to work in your shop, represent you to your customers, he is not worthy of the job. When you seek better, you will get better. If you accept worse, the shame is on you.

    June 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  2. chris

    Rep. Anthony Weiner should resign on the issue of lying. It's time for American's to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions & words. Regardless of party affiliation, if your elected to office your expected to be do your job with ethical standards. Lying to the public and trying to throw people off track and blaming others for your actions is not a standard of ethics that is acceptable. The fact you get off on sending "improper sexually tinged communications" to women over the internet is your issue. It's now an issue that your going to have to deal with on your time with your family. Let's get someone in office that wants to deal with the hard issues facing this nation. That should be every elected officials primary goal.

    June 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  3. Mary

    Perhaps it is my part of the country, but those of us sitting around here can't quite figure out why Weiner is getting all this news coverage. While his behavior is not appropriate for anyone, much less a leader, it is really not worth "front page" coverage. There are bigger issues at hand.

    June 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  4. Kim T.

    O.M.G. A guy tweeted a photo of his (covered) crotch. Hours and hours of media attention and he might lose his job? Really??? A man has behaved badly then lied about it? Like this has never happened before? By a politician? In office? Did this guy break the law? Don't we have important things to discuss? What he *isn't* doing is pointing the finger at any Republicans for doing the same thing at the same time he's doing it.

    June 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm |