Disgraced congressman seeks "treatment," leave of absence
New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is entering behavioral treatment amid a continuing scandal over the married politician's use of social media to send lewd messages and photos to women, his spokeswoman said Saturday, dpa reported.
The scandal emerged this month after when he posted an explicit photo of himself on Twitter to a Seattle woman before quickly taking it down. When confronted with the incident, Weiner claimed his Twitter account had been hacked and spent days denying sending the message before admitting on Monday that he had sent such messages to several women.
He issued public apology to his wife, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while denying any physical relationships with the women he messaged.
Television footage showed Weiner on Saturday running errands that now appear to have been preparations for travel.
"Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person," said his spokeswoman, Risa Heller. "In 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."
She said he would take a leave of absence from Congress.
In recent days, leaders of his own centre-left Democratic Party have called for him to quit office, particularly after Friday's revelation that Weiner and a teenaged girl exchanged private messages, which he insisted were "neither explicit nor indecent."
His spokeswoman said that 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."