By GEORGETT ROBERTS, MELISSA KLEIN, GEOFF EARLE and PHIL HELSEL, The NY Post
Weiner’s pulling out — for a little while, at least.
Serial-sexting Congressman Anthony Weiner headed off to rehab and will seek a leave of absence, as Nancy Pelosi and other Dems demanded he quit following his admission to sending private Twitter messages to a 17-year-old girl.
Weiner’s office said the randy rep left this morning for “professional treatment,” and will take a leave of absence from the House as he tries to become a better family man.
â€œCongressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person,â€ Weinerâ€™s office said in a statement. â€œIn light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.
“Congressman Weiner takes the views of his colleagues very seriously and has determined that he needs this time to get healthy and make the best decision possible for himself, his family and his constituents.”
Meanwhile, Pelosi and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz today said Weiner should resign, calling his sending explicit photos and raunchy emails to women all over the country “indefensible” and a distraction.
“Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress,” Pelosi said in a statement released this afternoon.
Wasserman Schultz called Weiner’s continued service in Congress “untenable,” and added that “this sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction.”
Insiders believe Weiner is gambling that a stint in rehab will delay calls for him to step down.
“I was surprised that he decided to seek treatment,” said a House Democratic aide. “Iâ€™m guessing heâ€™s hoping to put calls for resignation at bay by doing the treatment if that helps him. Heâ€™s hoping itâ€™ll give him more time.”
Today’s statements were the first time party leaders called on Weiner to step down in the wake of the sexting scandal, and came only after the embattled representative admitted that he sent private Twitter messages to a Delaware teen.
Earlier this morning, Weiner denied he had any inappropriate online contact with the 17-year-old, but did not deny that heâ€™s seeking counsel from Bill and Hillary Clinton about the scandal.
“Nothing explicit. Nothing indecent. Absolutely nothing inappropriate,” the embattled Congressman said as he left his Forest Hills apartment and went about routine morning errands, fetching his shirts at the Smile Often dry cleaner on nearby Austin Street.
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