weiner resign bkIn a news conference marked by loud heckling, embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner announced he would resign from Congress effective immediately, bowing to days of public pressure from members of his own party.
Weiner apologized for the "embarrassment" he had brought to his colleagues, his constituents and "most importantly" his wife.
"I had hoped to be able to continue the work that my constituents elected me to do," Weiner said. "Unfortunately, the distraction that I myself have created has made that impossible. So today I'm announcing my resignation from Congress."
He said he would leave Congress to allow his party to get back to the work of the American people and so that he and his wife could continue "to heal from the damage that I have caused."
Weiner's resignation came after nearly three straight weeks of drama, set off by the disclosure that he had sent lewd photo of his crotch to a 21-year-old Seattle college student over Memorial Day weekend.
The congressman initially claimed he had been hacked, but a week later, he admitted in a press conference that he had lied to his wife, his colleagues and to the media. He said he had sent the initial photo as a "joke" and admitted to risqué online dealings with at least six other women, several of whom subsequently came forward with lewd photos and texts they had exchanged with the congressman.
Weiner had repeatedly denied he would resign over the last week, rebuffing fellow Democrats who had urged him to leave Congress. On Saturday, top Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, went public with their resignation calls after word surfaced that police had investigated Weiner's Twitter messages to a 17-year-old girl in Delaware.
Weiner, who denied his messages with the girl were "indecent," announced he would enter "treatment"--and has been publicly out of sight until today, as Democrats considered options to put further pressure on the lawmaker to resign.
About an hour before the press conference, the disgraced congressman was spotted outside his apartment in Queens, New York, with his wife, Huma Abedin. A longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Abedin married Weiner last July and is pregnant with the couple's first child.
Abedin did not appear with him at his news conference in Brooklyn—though Weiner has insisted the two are not divorcing and that she has supported him throughout the scandal. Still, it's unclear if Abedin was as supportive of her husband as he suggested. While Weiner told fellow Democrats his wife had pressed him to ride out the scandal and stay in Congress, sources tell Politico that Abedin is "disgusted" and has been huddled with Clinton advisers trying to make sense of her husband's situation.
In his news conference today, he apologized to his wife repeatedly, thanking her for sticking by him.
A major concern for Weiner is likely how to support his family. The disgraced lawmaker has no career to fall back on. He may well return to his previously announced plan to continue seeking "treatment"—though it's still unclear exactly what Weiner has been under treatment for. Weiner's seat will now be the subject of a special election—though there are rumors that his district could be phased out by congressional redistricting.
Still, Weiner's announcement today seemed to be laying the groundwork for a political return someday. He repeatedly thanked his "neighbors" and "constituents" and touted his accomplishments in Congress--though much of that was drowned out by hecklers, who yelled questions about Weiner's endowment and physique.
(Screenshot of Weiner via CBS News)