Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) ongoing scandal has finally drawn the White House into the fray, with President Obama's press secretary Jay Carney decrying the lawmaker's "dishonesty" on Monday.
The presidential spokesman told reporters on Air Force One that Weiner's antics had become a "distraction from important business."
"The President feels, we feel at the White House, this is a distraction," Carney said. "As Congressman Weiner has said himself, his behavior was inappropriate, dishonesty was inappropriate. But the President is focused on his job which is getting this economy continuing to grow, creating jobs and ensuring the safety and security of the American people."
An array of top Democratic officials called for Weiner's resignation in recent days, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), and DCCC chair Steve Israel (D-NY). Carney declined to offer a response either way on the question of whether the embattled lawmaker should step down in light of the ongoing sexting scandal.
"I answered that question," he said in response to a query on what Weiner should do. "We think it's a distraction from the important business that this President needs to conduct and Congress needs to conduct. Beyond that I don't have any comment."
Weiner announced over the weekend that he will seek professional treatment while taking a leave of absence from the House. But the White House's biting comments on his "dishonesty" and "inappropriate" behavior is a clear sign that they're growing concerned about his impact on the party's image and messaging.