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.FULL STORY
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