EW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rep. Anthony Weiner says he wants to take a temporary leave of absence from Congress to seek professional help after three top Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, called for his resignation on Saturday.
Spokeswoman Risa Heller said Weiner has left for professional treatment and will focus on “becoming a better husband and healthier person.”
“Congressman Weiner takes the views of his colleagues very seriously and has determined that he needs this time to get healthy and make the best decision possible for himself, his family and his constituents,” she said.
As early as Saturday morning, Weiner thought he could tough it out. He was going to the dry cleaners and apparently making plans to return to Washington for Monday’s session of the House.
After an outright demand that he quit from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic National Chairwoman Debbi Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he had a change of heart.
Schultz said Weiner’s behavior is “indefensible,” his role in Congress is “untenable,” and that “this sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction” for everyone.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York also called for Weiner to step down, saying his behavior was “inappropriate.”
Pelosi said he “needs help” and he should get some “without the pressures of being a member of Congress.” She called for an ethics committee investigation to see whether his actions violated any House rules.
The calls for Weiner’s resignation came a day after he admitted he had online contact with a Delaware teenager.
What seemed to push Democrats over the edge was when police questioned a 17-year-old girl from Delaware Friday about her internet exchanges with the kinky Congressman.
Weiner said in his exchanges with the girl, there was “nothing explicit, nothing indecent, absolutely nothing inappropriate.”
The only democrat who rushed to Weiner’s defense was Congressman Charles Rangel, who was censured by the House last year.
“I don’t know what he did, who he offended. I know one thing: he wasn’t going with prostitutes. He wasn’t going out with little boys,” Rangel said. “The whole idea of resignation is something that is hyped up by the press.”
The teen reportedly followed Weiner on Twitter after she saw him speak during a class trip to Washington, D.C. in April.
The number of lawmakers calling for his resignation has grown since Weiner admitted to sending lewd photos of himself to women online.
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