Rangel Defends Weiner, Dismisses Calls for His Resignation

Friday, Jun 10, 2011  |  Updated 5:20 PM EDT
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Rep. Charlie Rangel says embattled House colleague Anthony Weiner should not resign, saying

Rep. Charlie Rangel says embattled House colleague Anthony Weiner should not resign, saying "the constitution is abundantly clear" that Weiner's conduct is not in violation with his responsibilities in office.

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Congressman Anthony Weiner is getting support from a Democratic colleague who knows something about surviving a rough year.
    
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel told reporters Friday that he still believes Weiner can be an effective lawmaker, "if the press gets off his back."

"Not one person has given any reason for resignation.  The Constitution is abundantly clear in terms of the conduct of a member," he said. 

Rangel added "the whole idea of resignation is something that is hyped up by the press more than his ability to serve."
    
He suggested that other members of Congress had done things more immoral than Weiner, who admitted this week to sending racy messages and explicit photographs of himself to women he didn't know.
    
Rangel says Weiner "wasn't going with prostitutes. He wasn't going out with little boys."

Last year, Rangel was himself censured by the House for ethics violations. Weiner was one of the few who voted against censure.

Weiner has refused to resign even as more embarrassing details have emerged about his online communications. He acknowledged on Monday that he had Tweeted sexually charged photos and messages to six women he did not know, then lied about it to his wife, his family and his constituents.

The lawmaker, who represents parts of Queens and Brooklyn, says he will be back at work in Washington on Monday when Congress convenes.

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