The chairman of the Republican National Committee on Tuesday called for Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign from Congress, saying no investigation was necessary “to know he lied and acted inappropriately.”
Following Weiner’s dramatic news conference Monday afternoon, during which he admitted to sending explicit online communications to women over the course of several years, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called for the Ethics Committee to look into whether the New York congressman had violated House rules.
Weiner said he welcomed the investigation but maintained at his news conference that he had not violated his oath of office or House rules.
Reince Priebus, the chief political spokesman for the Republican party, said Tuesday morning that Weiner’s “actions and deception are unacceptable” and that the Democrats’ call for an investigation was insufficient.
“Either Leader Pelosi and DNC Chair [Debbie] Wasserman Schultz believe members of Congress are held to a different set of standards or they believe these actions demand his resignation,” Priebus said.
Also Tuesday, the National Republican Congressional Committee called on more than a dozen Democratic members, most from swing districts, to return money that they had received from Weiner in their past campaigns.
The House is on recess this week; reaction was surprisingly muted from many of Weiner’s colleagues Monday and even from most Republicans.
Weiner had become an increasingly prominent messenger for the party in its policy fights with Republicans over the budget. With those fights still looming, and with Andrew Breitbart holding potentially more embarrassing photos that he could publish on his conservative websites, pressure on Weiner to step down likely could build.
Republicans acted quickly in February, shortly after taking the House majority, to encourage then-Rep. Chris Lee to step down when a shirtless photo that he had sent a woman through Craigslist surfaced publicly.