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Monday, June 13, 2011

Weiner Publicly Rebuked By Obama: "A Distraction"

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"I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign".
President Obama, June 13, 2011

White House: Weiner scandal is a 'distraction'

President Barack Obama believes U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner was wrong to send a lewd picture of himself over Twitter and then lie about it, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. And the continuing scandal surrounding the New York Democrat is a distraction from important national business, he said.

Carney's comments were the first by the administration since the scandal broke in late May.

"The president feels, we feel at the White House, this is a distraction, as Congressman Weiner has said himself, his behavior was inappropriate; dishonesty was inappropriate," Carney said in comments to reporters aboard Air Force One during a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.

"But the president is focused on his job, which is getting this economy continuing to grow, creating jobs and ensuring the safety and security of the American people."

Weiner has been in the spotlight since late May, when a lewd photograph of the congressman became public after it was sent to a woman over the Twitter social networking service.

After initially claiming that his account had been hacked, Weiner admitted that he sent the picture and also had engaged in several inappropriate relationships with women he had met online.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an ethics committee investigation to determine if Weiner misused government resources while conducting the online relationships. She and a number of prominent Democrats have since called for him to resign.

Weiner has said he does not plan to step aside. Instead, he has decided to seek treatment "to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person," his spokeswoman said Saturday.

While he is seeking treatment at an undisclosed location, he will ask for a "short leave of absence" from Congress, Risa Heller said in a statement.

The president's staff has not been involved in calling for Weiner's resignation, Carney said.

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Sources: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, White House, Youtube, Google Maps

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