Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Tuesday called on Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign, one day after the New York Democrat admitted that he had lied about sending a lewd photo to a 21-year-old student in Seattle and had conducted “inappropriate” relationships with several women online.
“Congressman Weiner’s actions and deception are unacceptable and he should resign,” Priebus said in a statement. “We do not need an investigation to know he lied and acted inappropriately, we need a resignation.”
Priebus’s statement made him the first official to call on Weiner, 46, to resign.
Priebus also took aim at Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), charging that the top Democrats either “believe members of Congress are held to a different set of standards or they believe these actions demand his resignation.”
Pelosi on Monday called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate whether Weiner violated any House rules. Weiner said in a statement that he would comply with any investigation but maintained at his Monday news conference that he would not resign.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) has also backed Pelosi’s call for an ethics investigation, but other top Democrats in both chambers have been reluctant to weigh in on the scandal.
National Republicans, meanwhile, have sought to use the Weiner imbroglio to their political advantage. On Tuesday morning, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement targeting 17 House Democrats that it said had “accepted thousands in donations” from Weiner.
“Will these Democrats return their scandal-tainted Weiner money today, or will they silently condone their colleagues bizarre and potentially ethically-compromised behavior?” NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay said in a statement
The House Democrats targeted by the NRCC include Reps. Betty Sutton (Ohio), Bill Owens (N.Y.), Gerry Connolly (Va.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), Tim Holden (Pa.), John Barrow (Ga.), Brian Higgins (N.Y.), Jim Himes (Conn.), Joe Donnelly (Ill.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), Mark Critz (Pa.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Rush Holt (N.J.), Russ Carnahan (Mo.), Tim Bishop (N.Y.) and Tim Walz (Minn.).