From the Associated Press:
The second-ranking House Democrat on Sunday joined the party leadership in urging Rep. Anthony Weiner to quit because of his sexting scandal, a request the New York lawmaker has sidestepped in favor of a temporary leave of absence.
The Republican Party chairman criticized Democratic leaders for not taking a more forceful stand earlier on the affair, which has overshadowed much of the legislative business on Capitol Hill over the past week.
Weiner has acknowledged exchanging messages and photos ranging from sexually suggestive to explicit with several women online, and the latest to surface appeared on the entertainment website TMZ.
The photos posted Sunday were purportedly taken in the House members’ gym and show a shirt-less Weiner with a towel around his waist and his hand on his crotch. TMZ said the photos were sent online to at least one woman.
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, spoke of Weiner’s “bizarre and unacceptable behavior” in texting inappropriate pictures of himself to young women. Hoyer said it would be “extraordinarily difficult” for Weiner to continue to represent his constituents effectively.
Weiner announced Saturday that he was entering professional treatment at an undisclosed location and wanted a leave of absence from Congress. A statement from an aide did not say where he would receive treatment or what type was involved.
That announcement came right after House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the national party head, said Weiner must go.
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