Democratic support for embattled Congressman Anthony Weiner was slipping away today, hours after his tearful admission that he was behind lewd photos sent to at least six women.
And new questions being asked are likely to put even more pressure on Weiner to step down from the New York congressional seat he has held for a dozen years.
|Rep. Anthony Weiner, during his confessional news conference Monday, is feeling more pressure today. (Getty Images Photo)
The Democrats are distancing themselves from Weiner and pressing for an ethics committee, and the New York representative has promised his full cooperation.
On Monday, Weiner admitted full responsibility for the scandal after stonewalling for 10 days, but many Democrats feel it is too little, too late. They see little upside in showing support for Weiner and feel it could leave them open to Republican attacks.
Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, berated Weiner for his "deep personal failure and inappropriate behavior that embarrassed himself, his family and the House."
An ethics probe would “remove all remaining doubt about this situation," Israel said.
Both Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Whip Steny Hoyer also joined calls for the investigation, while Democratic commentators piled on. James Carville pointed out, “The Democrats are furious at this guy,” while Paul Begala said, “Public figures have a right to a private life, not a right to lie.”
Begala told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Weiner will have a “huge problem with the ethics committee” if it is found that he used government resources for his sexting. Weiner insisted during his news conference that he had not, but both Las Vegas blackjack dealer Lisa Weiss and Texas single mother Meagan Broussard say he used a congressional line for phone sex sessions.
And yet another problem emerged for Weiner today as more questions arose about his friendship with porn star Ginger Lee, another woman with whom he enjoyed an online relationship.
The tabloid website TMZ reported today that Weiner sent Lee an email Thursday offering her his PR team to help deal with media questions. The day before, the site says, he emailed her a message telling her how to lie.
"The key is to have a short, thought out statement that tackles the top line questions and then refer people back to it,” Weiner wrote. “ Have a couple of iterations of: 'This is silly. Like so many others, I follow Rep. Weiner on Twitter. I don't know him and have never met him. He briefly followed me and sent me a dm saying thank you for the follow. That's it.'"
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