President Obama says if he were in Anthony Weiner's position, "I would resign."
In an interview with NBC's Ann Curry, the president called Weiner's conduct "highly inappropriate" and said the embattled New York congressman had "embarrassed himself" and his family. But he admitted it's ultimately up to Weiner and his constituents to determine whether the lawmaker should remain in office.
"I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign. Because public service is exactly that: It's a service to the public," Obama said. "When you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can't serve as effectively as you need to at the time when people are worrying about jobs and their mortgages and paying the bills, then you should probably step back."
You can watch Obama's interview after the jump, courtesy of NBC:
Obama's comments came as House Speaker John Boehner added his name to the list of those calling for Weiner to resign and House Democrats stepped up their pressure on the embattled lawmaker to leave Congress. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who called on Weiner to leave office on Saturday, repeated her request Monday night. But, she admitted, "None of us, not anybody here has the power to force somebody out of office."
This morning, the entire House Democratic Caucus went behind closed doors to discuss the Weiner scandal and how the party should proceed. Outside the room, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a Democrat from New York, hinted Weiner might be close to leaving Congress--but declined to elaborate.
"Hopefully, we're hearing he might resign in a couple of days," she said, per AP.
But the party is reportedly considering other options, just in case. Among other things, Democratic lawmakers are considering whether they can oust Weiner from the party's caucus and whether they should strip him of committee assignments. More severe punishment would have to wait until after the conclusion of a House ethics committee probe into whether Weiner broke House rules in his risque communications with women he met online or in his efforts to conceal those communications.
According to his office, Weiner checked into an undisclosed "treatment" facility over the weekend--though it's still unclear exactly what he's being treated for. Last night, the House approved a two-week leave of absence for the embattled lawmaker, as new embarrassing pictures of the disgraced congressman surfaced.
(Photo of Weiner: David Karp/AP)
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