Today, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called for Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign in the midst of his ongoing sexting scandal. The call comes as authorities continue looking into Weiner's communications with a 17-year-old Delaware girl. Democratic National Party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she agreed with Pelosi, and told AP that Weiner's behavior was “indefensible” and that his role in Congress was “untenable.” She said that "this sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction" for everyone.
While out doing errands today, Weiner stated that the messages to the 17-year-old girl weren't obscene: "Nothing explicit. Nothing indecent. Absolutely nothing inappropriate," he told reporters as he left his Forest Hills apartment to pick up his laundry. At the same time, two senior Democratic officials told the Times that Weiner was planning to check himself into a treatment center.
His spokeswoman, Risa Heller, told reporters that Weiner departed this morning (presumably after picking up his laundry) "to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person." She said:
In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well. 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.
Nevertheless, Weiner also reiterated while on his errands that "nothing has changed," and he wouldn't be heeding those calls to resign: "Look I’ve made some serious mistakes here. I have to redeem myself and I’m going to try to get back to work. These were personal failings and I’m trying not to let it get into my professional work."
After Weiner told Pelosi about the scandal, just before making his public announcement last week, he noted, "she was not happy. Told me as much." Pelosi, in turn, called for a House Ethics inquiry into Weiner's contact with his sexting partners. In addition to Pelosi, Rep. Steve J. Israel, who heads the House Democrats’ re-election efforts for next year, also called for him to step down, and said he thought he needed to seek treatment for “inappropriate behavior.” “I pray for his family and hope that Anthony will take time to get the help he needs without the distractions and added pressures of Washington,” Israel said.
One woman approached Weiner on his errands and pledged her continued support of him: "You’re a great man. I support you. We all support you—Forest Hills. All New York is going to make sure you are the next mayor." For some context about the resignation calls: Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, who admitted to regularly frequenting prostitutes nearly four years ago, is still a Senator. As the Huffington Post points out, many prominent Republicans who are calling for Weiner's resignation have actively supported Vitter by contributing money to his reelection campaigns.