The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a two-week leave of absence for New York Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner, as he seeks professional help following his involvement in an Internet sex scandal.
Lawmakers Monday approved the request by Weiner, who has admitted he sent a lewd photograph of himself to a female college student using his Twitter account. The 46-year-old Weiner previously denied he had done so. Weiner apologized for lying but has rejected calls for his resignation.
On Monday, President Barack Obama said in an interview with NBC news that if he were Weiner, he would resign. President Obama also said that whether Weiner remained in office after the “highly inappropriate” behavior was ultimately up to the congressman and his constituents.
Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, is a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Last week, The New York Times reported that Abedin is pregnant with the couple’s first child. Weiner and his wife were married about a year ago.
Last week, Weiner admitted during a televised news conference that he sent pictures and texts to a total of six women over the past three years. But Weiner said he had not met any of the women he corresponded with online and sometimes by phone and that he was not sure of their ages. Weiner said he has not had a physical relationship outside his marriage.
House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for an Ethics Committee investigation to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred. Pelosi has said Weiner needs help and he should get some “without the pressures of being a member of Congress.”
Weiner has insisted he has not broken the law.