Republicans call for Anthony Weiner to resign

After days of denials, a choked-up U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) confessed Monday, June 6, 2011, that he tweeted a bulging-underpants photo of himself to a young woman and admitted to "inappropriate" exchanges with six women before and after getting married. On May 27, 2011, a lewd photo of a man's groin was sent to a college student from New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's Twitter account. Weiner said on June 1 he did not send the tweet, which was visible to all of his followers, and claims it was "a prank, a hoax" and that his "system was hacked into." Photo: Weiner reacts during a news conference about the photo in New York, Monday, June 6, 2011.
AP Photo/Richard Drew
AP Photo/Richard Drew

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Tuesday that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) should resign in the wake of his admission that he was involved in online relationships with multiple women and initially lied about having mistakenly sent a lewd photo out on his Twitter feed.

Asked if Weiner should step down after a local Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Louisa, Virginia, Cantor said that "Congressman Weiner and his constituents will make that decision. I certainly don't condone his activity and I think he should resign."

"We've got a lot of serious challenges going on in this country and a lot of work for Congress to do," he added. "The last thing we need is to be immersed in discussion about Congressman Weiner and his Twitter activities."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, meanwhile, said "Congressman Weiner's actions and deception are unacceptable and he should resign."

"We do not need an investigation to know he lied and acted inappropriately, we need a resignation," he continued. "Either Leader Pelosi and DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz believe members of Congress are held to a different set of standards or they believe these actions demand his resignation."

Pelosi, the House minority leader, has called for an Ethics Committee investigation into Weiner's behavior; in a letter to the committee Tuesday, she said an investigation "to determine whether the Rules of the House of Representatives have been violated is warranted." But she, like other Democrats, has not called for a resignation.

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Tuesday that he "respect[s] Congressman Weiner's honesty and integrity."

"I am aware that there may be calls for his resignation, however, I feel that is a personal matter between the Congressman and his family," he said.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), meanwhile, was far less supportive, telling reporters of Weiner on Tuesday, "I wish there was some way that I could defend him but I can't."

Asked what Reid would say if Weiner called him and asked for advice, Reid quipped, "call somebody else."

Notably silent on the matter has been House Speaker John Boehner, who seems content, at least for now, to let Pelosi and others navigate the politics of the scandal.

Weiner could be forced from the House with a 2/3rds majority expulsion vote, though that seems unlikely. Only five House members have been expelled in the history of the House, three of them for disloyalty after the Civil War.

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