Congressman Anthony Weiner announced Saturday afternoon that he's taking "a leave of absence" from the House of Representatives in order to seek "professional treatment," but he will not resign. The announcement came after three top Democratic leaders — Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman, and Steve Israel — called for Weiner to quit, following the news that the congressman has had some online contact with a 17-year-old girl. (Weiner does not deny having online contact with the teenager, but maintains it was "non-explicit.")
“Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person,” Weiner’s office told Politico. “He will request a short leave of absence from the House so he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well. Weiner takes the views of his colleagues very seriously and has determined that he needs time to get healthy and make the best decision possible.” So he's seeking treatment for ... something.
Before Weiner's announcement, top Democratic leaders made announcements of their own. (Although first, "They called Weiner and said ‘you should resign,’ and he didn’t," according to Politico.) Here are their statements:
Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader:
Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a member of Congress.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), who heads the party's campaign arm:
Anthony’s inappropriate behavior has become an insurmountable distraction to the House and our work for the American people.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee:
This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction for Rep. Weiner, his family, his constituents and the House — and for the good of all, he should step aside and address those things that should be most important — his and his family's well-being.
In any case, all eyes are on Weiner now, as he takes the scandal deeper. As the pressure mounts. As he falls even further into this hole. (Sorry.)