UPDATE: Anthony Weiner may be hearing the chorus of his Democratic colleagues calling for him to step down, but the New York congressman appears to be sticking with his plan to weather the storm.
The New York Post caught up with the embattled lawmaker on Thursday. “I’ve betrayed a lot of people and I know it,” Weiner said. “I’m trying to get back to work now and try to make amends to my constituents, and of course to my family."
Asked point blank if he plans to resign, Weiner responded: “I’m not.”
Here’s the video of what appear to be his first public comments since Monday’s press conference.
Original Post Thursday at 9:23 a.m.: Wednesday was a rough day for Rep. Anthony Weiner. First, an X-rated image believed to be of his crotch hit the Internet. Then, news broke that his wife, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, was nearing the end of her first trimester.
But the worst turn of events for the New York congressman, at least professionally speaking, was that throughout the day a growing chorus of high-profile Democrats began calling for his resignation.
“I think this picture puts it over the limit and I think he has no choice but to resign,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said during an evening interview on MSNBC.
Rendell, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, said that Weiner could still rehabilitate his political career down the road by getting “real treatment” for his problems, but for now the embattled lawmaker had to step down. “He owes it to the party, he owes it to Congress, and he owes it to the issues he fought for,” Rendell said.
Others who have called for Weiner’s ouster include another former DNC chairman, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, as well as Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who is overseeing the party’s 2012 candidate recruitment effort.
Rank-and-file Democrats in the House have also gotten in on the action. According to Politico’s count, they included: Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts, Larry Kissell of North Carolina, Michael Michaud of Maine, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Mike Ross of Arkansas.
A pair of Democratic senators, Patrick Leahy and Mark Pryor, also say they want Weiner out.
The New York Times reports that the “orchestrated” effort came after Nancy Pelosi concluded that Weiner “was becoming too much of a problem for his colleagues as they planned to retake the House in 2012.”
For his part, Weiner has appeared steadfast in his desire to stick around. At his emotional Monday press conference where he admitted to having a number of intimate online relationships over the past several years with women who were not his wife, he said that he saw no reason to resign despite the embarrassing scandal.
“I don’t think I did anything that violates any law or any rule,” he said then.