Eric Cantor tells embattled Rep. Vance McAllister he should resign


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) speaks on Capitol Hill on Jan. 14, 2014. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) met with embattled Rep. Vance McAllister on Tuesday and told him he should resign in light of the release last month of video showing the married Louisiana congressman kissing one of his staff members.

The meeting, first reported by Politicocomes one day after McAllister returned to D.C. for the first time since video of him and a member of his staff making out was leaked to local press.

McAllister has said he will not seek reelection, but told reporters Monday that the GOP House leadership had not  asked him to resign.

That changed Tuesday when Cantor met with McAllister, telling him that he needs to step down.

“I told him I thought he should resign," Cantor told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "I just said, ‘Look, when we took the majority in 2001, I had said that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.’ And that’s why I did what I did and I told him I thought he should resign. Because, in my mind, what happened does not meet that higher standard.”

Aides to Cantor confirmed that the leader will have a similar meeting with Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) on Wednesday. However, Cantor said he will not ask the N.Y. congressman to resign. Grimm was indicted Monday on 20 counts of tax evasion and employing illegal immigrants at a N.Y. business that he ran prior to his election.

In a statement released this afternoon, McAllister acknowledged that Cantor asked him to consider resigning.

“I did meet with Leader Cantor this morning. He asked me why I would want to put myself through this for the next eight months if I'm not running for reelection.  He did ask me to consider resigning, but I respectfully disagree with him and my family is behind my decision," McAllister said in the statement. "I do not feel it’s in my constituents’ best interest to leave them without representation for the second time in less than a year. My district deserves a voice and a fair election process, not an expensive potential special election that benefits the establishment.”

Ed O'Keefe contributed to this report.

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter covering law enforcement and justice for the Washington Post. He previously covered Congress and national politics.
Paul Kane covers Congress and politics for the Washington Post.

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Ed O'Keefe · April 29, 2014