Yesterday, as several prominent Democratic leaders called for Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign amidst his ongoing sexting scandal, Weiner announced that he was checking himself into a psychological treatment center while he weighs his future in the House. Weiner has been under increasingly intense pressure to resign all week, to the point that friends say he has become distraught and fragile behind the scenes. To add to this mess, TMZ also uncovered new semi-nude photos of Weiner, which he took at the House Members Gym, and sent to at least one woman.
It seems that his announcement that he would seek treatment "to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person" has not appeased Democratic leaders—in fact, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz made their public calls for his resignation only after they found out Weiner was checking into rehab.
A Pelosi staffer confirmed: "At the time of her statement this afternoon, Leader Pelosi was already aware of Congressman Weiner's intention to take a leave of absence in order to seek treatment." A senior House Democrat also confirmed that the public resignation calls were a "coordinated effort that was kicked off once Weiner decided to seek treatment."
Pelosi was reportedly particularly frustrated because when she called Weiner during the week, he said he couldn't make any decisions on resigning until his wife, Huma Abedin, returned from an overseas trip with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which the Times said "they viewed as an unpersuasive pretext." Through all those calls, she became increasingly convinced that his behavior required serious, if vague, medical intervention: “When you are this self-destructive, there is obviously something deeper going on with you,” said a Pelosi adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being seen as betraying her confidence.
Weiner's friends and advisors told the Times that he had been consulting with a therapist all week as pressure mounted and the scandal wore-on; one said he was no longer in a position to make clear-headed decisions about his career and health: “He was falling apart.” According to GOP Rep. Peter King, the taint of Friday's revelation that he had messaged with a 17-year-old girl allegedly "really tipped it over" for Weiner.
On Friday, Weiner privately agreed that traditional therapy would not be enough for his issues; he reportedly made his decision to check into an out-of-town clinic that day, and made travel plans for Saturday afternoon (although he left time to run his errands in the morning). He will be evaluated before it is determined what kind of treatment he will receive. Senator Chuck Schumer agreed that this was the best move: “I am heartbroken. It’s clear he needs professional help and I am glad he is seeking it.”