The White House today finally waded directly into the scandal surrounding Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), clearly suggesting – though not stating explicitly – that Weiner should resign.
“The president feels, we feel at the White House, this is a distraction, as Congressman Weiner has said himself, his behavior was inappropriate, dishonesty was inappropriate,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney aboard Air Force One.
Asked to clarify whether Weiner should resign, Carney said, “I answered that question. We think it’s a distraction from the important business that this president needs to conduct and congress need to conduct. Beyond that I don’t have any comment.”
While the wording is hedged, the message is very unambiguous: President Obama wants Weiner to resign.
The subtle wording could be due to the sensitivity of Obama’s position: Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin is a close aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Wiener and his wife were married by Bill Clinton. But the clear signal for Weiner to quit shows either that the Clinton’s have green lighted the move or the White House feels the political need to get rid of the Wiener issue outweighs any concerns that the Clintons might have.
Asked last week about Weiner, Carney refused to comment at all. The remarks he made today were in answer to questions from reporters traveling aboard Air Force One with the president, who is on his way to North Carolina for an event related to jobs.