House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Tuesday said that while he views Rep. Anthony Weiner's salacious Twitter scandal as a distraction, he believes the embattled New York Democrat should resign.
"We've got a lot of serious challenges going on in this country and a lot of work for Congress to do. The last thing we need is to be immersed in discussion about Congressman Weiner and his Twitter activities," the Virginia Republican told reporters.
"I certainly don't condone his activity and I think he should resign," he added.
Also Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) officially requested an Ethics Committee investigation into Weiner's activities.
In a letter to Chairman Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and ranking member Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), Pelosi pointed to the fact that Weiner on Monday "disclosed conduct which he described as inappropriate," and called on them to open a formal inquiry into the situation.
"An investigation by the Ethics Committee to determine whether the Rules of the House of Representatives have been violated is warranted," Pelosi wrote in the letter.
The request formally sets in motion a process that could prove exceedingly embarrassing for Weiner, 46. On Monday, he admitted to sending lewd photos of himself to numerous women, as well as engaging in often explicit exchanges with them through text messages, Twitter and Facebook.
On Tuesday, celebrity gossip website TMZ reported that Weiner had also urged one of the six women, former adult film star Ginger Lee, to lie to the media about the nature of their relationship.
Although it remains unclear whether Weiner has violated any rules aside from a general prohibition against bringing disgrace to the chamber, a drawn-out investigation will almost certainly mean the normally bombastic lawmaker will continue to be dogged by the scandal for weeks or even months. He has promised to "fully cooperate" with any investigation.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked Tuesday whether Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) should resign, but he declined to answer directly. However, the Nevada Democrat did not give Weiner a vote of confidence, either.
“I know Congressman Weiner. I wish there was some way I could defend him, but I can’t,” Reid said. Asked what advice he would have for Weiner if the New Yorker asked for guidance, Reid said: “Call somebody else.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.