Escalating his involvement in the ongoing Anthony Weiner (D-NY) scandal, President Obama said on Monday that he would step down if he were in the Congressman's shoes.
"I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign,'' Obama told NBC's Ann Curry. Obama, who called Weiner's actions "highly inappropriate," added: "When you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can't serve as effectively as you need to, at the time when people are worrying about jobs, and their mortgages, and paying the bills -- then you should probably step back."
The interview, while falling short of a direct call for Weiner's resignation, represents the first time Obama has directly addressed the issue. Earlier in the day White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that Weiner had become a "distraction" and decried Weiner's "dishonesty" in lying about a lewd photo he sent from his Twitter account to a female college student.
A number of top Democratic officials, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have demanded Weiner resign. He has resisted their calls so far, electing instead to take a leave of absence to seek professional treatment.