In an appearance surrounded by a media circus and marked by vocal outbursts from audience members, disgraced New York Rep. Anthony Weiner announced today that he is resigning from his position in the House of Representatives, CNN reported.
Weiner made the announcement early this afternoon in the Council Center for Senior Citizens in Brooklyn, N.Y., in a short news conference carried live on the cable news networks and other TV outlets. He did not take questions from the media, and his announcement was greeted by a mixture of cheers, boos and lewd heckling.
“I am here again to apologize for the personal mistakes I have made,” Weiner said. “Today I am announcing my resignation from Congress so my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representative and, most importantly, my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused.”
The announcement came in response to weeks of calls for his resignation, primarily from his fellow Democratic party members. Party officials at all levels, including President Obama, have been urging Weiner to resign, saying his “sexting” scandal has been a distraction from the issues lawmakers should be focused on.
Especially damaging to Weiner was his highly vocal denial of responsibility in the early days of the scandal, when he claimed a sexually suggestive photo had been sent from his Twitter account by a hacker. He later admitted that the photo was of him and that he had sent it.
Many observers have said it was Weiner’s lying about the photo and other texts, more than the messages themselves, that impaired his credibility and hurt his ability to perform his duties. He eventually came clean in a June 6 news conference in which he admitted sending suggestive messages to about six women.
Additional photos have subsequently surfaced, along with allegations that he urged at least one of the women involved–former porn actress Ginger Lee–to lie about her interactions with Weiner.
As previously reported, Lee came out Wednesday with details about her involvement with Weiner, and added her voice to the calls for his resignation.