WASHINGTON--White House Press Secretary Jay Carney commented for the first time Monday on the Rep. Anthony Weiner mess--and was critical of Weiner but did not call for him to resign.
Said Carney, "The President feels -- we feel at the White House that this is a distraction. Obviously as Congressman Weiner has said himself, this is -- the behavior was inappropriate; the dishonesty was inappropriate. But the President is focused on his job, which is getting this economy continuing to grow, creating jobs, and obviously ensuring the safety and security of the American people."
Q Did any of the President's top aides have any role in engineering or encouraging Anthony Weiner to resign or to step aside?
MR. CARNEY: Well, I think this is an issue that the Congress has been addressing, congressional leaders have been addressing, and that Congressman Weiner has been addressing.
Q But did any of his top aides have conversations --
MR. CARNEY: Not that I'm aware of.
Q Does the President believe that Anthony Weiner should resign?
MR. CARNEY: Again, I think I answered that question. We think this is a distraction obviously from the important business that this President needs to conduct and Congress needs to conduct. Beyond that, I don't have any more comment.