Updated 06/07/2011 11:05 PM
Weiner Scandal Splits Politicians
While Congressman Anthony Weiner reiterated to to a group of reporters outside his home in Forest Hills, Queens Tuesday that he is not resigning, congressional leaders are either withholding support for the disgraced politician or calling for him to step down. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
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While Congressman Anthony Weiner told reporters on Tuesday, "I'm not resigning, no," the chairman of the Republican Party said the Democratic Brooklyn-Queens representative should step down.
Republicans also said more than a dozen House Democrats should return campaign contributions from Weiner.
Speaking in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, looked to distance himself from the embattled lawmaker.
"I know Congressman Weiner, I wish there was some way I can defend him but I can't," Reid said. "I'm not here to defend Weiner."
When asked by a reporter what advice he would give him if asked, Reid responded, "Call somebody else."
There was no response from the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, an exclusive NY1-Marist poll has found that a majority of New Yorkers do not think he should step down.
Conducted Monday night, just hours after Weiner admitted that he had been lying, the poll finds 51 percent of registered city voters say that he should not step down, 30 percent say he should and 18 percent are unsure.
During his Monday news conference, Weiner said he would not resign his seat, as he did not believe he had broken any congressional rules.
Weiner said he will cooperate with an Ethics Committee investigation demanded by his fellow Democrats to determine if he broke any rules by sending lewd photos of himself to several women and lying about it.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for the investigation just hours after Weiner confessed on live television that he was the one who posted a photo of himself in his underwear on Twitter and admitted that he made up a story that his account was hacked.
He said he exchanged explicit messages and photos with six women over the last three years. He said some of those exchanges took place after he was married.
The shirtless photo posted by BigGovernment.com. Click to enlarge.
Weiner said he and his wife will weather this storm, but she was nowhere to be seen yesterday.
The heat had been turned up on Weiner earlier Monday when conservative activist Andrew Breitbart's website BigGovernment.com posted a shirtless picture and Facebook messages sent by Weiner.
Breitbart claimed on Tuesday he has more photos and messages from Weiner -- including at least one X-rated photo that he has decided not to distribute.
In television interviews Tuesday, Breitbart said holding onto the image would protect him against any possible attacks from the congressman's camp.
Weiner said he realized last week that his decision to lie about the photo was only making his problem worse.
Meanwhile, the father of one of the women who says she corresponded with Weiner online spoke out Tuesday.
He did not want his name revealed or his face shown on camera.
He said his daughter, 26-year-old Megan Broussard, never sent lewd pictures to the congressman and only received them.
"She did correspond back to him a couple times but that was that, and there were other women that have maybe sent pictures but my daughter has not. She believes that state, people up in the government like that, anybody, should not be doing things like that," said the father.
Megan Broussard told ABC News that Weiner friended her on Facebook in April when she commented on one of his speeches. She said they traded more than 100 messages on Facebook, and Weiner often tried to move the conversation toward sex.
Weiner's political mentor, Senator Charles Schumer, said Monday he was deeply pained and saddened by the news, but believed Weiner remains a talented and committed public servant.
Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of Suffolk County said Weiner had “embarrassed himself, his family and the House.”
Here in the city, reaction to Weiner's scandal was mixed, though many say it will be hard for him to recover politically.
"I am very happy that he apologized and I feel badly for him. He mad a mistake, he's only human," said one New Yorker.
"He's never going to be the mayor there is going to have to be someone else that comes in. You can forgive people sometimes, but I feel like he made his bed and he's got to lie in it now," said another.
Many New Yorkers also said Weiner should have come out with the truth immediately, rather than trying to cover up his actions.