Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) on Monday tearfully admitted sending an inappropriate photo of himself to a young woman over Twitter, saying he is deeply ashamed of his actions and lying in the cover-up, but will not resign.
Weiner, a leading liberal voice in the House of Representatives who was expected to run for New York City mayor in 2013, admitted to inappropriate Internet and telephone conversations with six women, but said that none of them developed into a physical relationship.
“I’m deeply regretting what I have done and I’m not resigning,” Weiner, 46, said at a news conference at Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, according to Reuters.
“I tweeted a photograph of myself that I intended as a direct message as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle,” referring to the photo that sparked a scandal more than a week ago.
“Once I realized I had posted it to Twitter, I panicked. I took it down and said that I had been hacked. I then continued to stick to that story, which was a hugely regrettable mistake," he said. "The picture was of me, and I sent it."
Weiner, who has been married since July 2010 to Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, called his own actions “very dumb.”
“I love my wife very much and we have no intention of splitting up over this,” he said, according to The Associated Press. “My wife is a remarkable woman. She’s not responsible for any of this. I apologize to her very deeply."
In response to the incident, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called for a House ethics investigation into whether Weiner broke the standards of conduct. Weiner said that he mostly used his home computer and never used his congressional mobile device to contact the women, let along break any law.
In a brief statement cited by AP, Pelosi said she is “deeply disappointed and saddened about this situation.”
New York’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, said in a statement that he is “deeply pained and saddened by today’s news."
"By fully explaining himself, apologizing to all he hurt and taking full responsibility for his wrongful actions, Anthony did the right thing. He remains a talented and committed public servant, and I pray he and his family can get through these difficult times," said Schumer.Weiner said that he is “deeply sorry to my family, staff, and constituents” and that he welcomes and “will fully cooperate with an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.”