Members of the House Democratic leadership have talked repeatedly to Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, to try to get him to end what several Democrats call an unwelcome political distraction, a member of the party's leadership tells CNN.
"It's frustrating because we'll talk to him, and say clean it up, and then he goes out and does stuff," said the member of the House Democratic leadership, who declined to speak for the record about private discussions with Weiner.
"He's got to put the period at the end of the sentence," said the Democratic source, "it's painful."
On Thursday, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House, was less blunt, but told CNN he had spoken to Weiner.
"I told him that he needs to handle this and he needed to give the facts accurately to the public," Hoyer said.
I've said time and time again his refusal to answer the question of if the picture is indeed him or not doesn't past the smell test in any way. He's stalled three times now on the question, and once in front of Rachel Maddow, who was doing everything she could to give him an out in this clip from Wednesday night's show:
Weiner didn't take it. Rachel Maddow gave him a free pass on this and Weiner still wouldn't deny the picture was him, even when Rachel explained that by not denying it, it made him look worse. She then offered up a theory that maybe it was somebody else's picture and Weiner wouldn't confirm or deny that either. He could have ended this Wednesday. He didn't. That was a foolish, rookie move.
More than anything else, that tells me three things: the people advising Weiner on how to proceed are nowhere near competent, Weiner himself is not ready for the big time yet, and whatever he is hiding, Weiner's lame attempts to cover it up are worse than the actual truth at this point.
So at this point, the Dems' damage control team is taking over and I foresee some sort of statement from the Congressman very, very soon. Weiner needs to axe his PR people, make a gut check, and come clean on whatever he's hiding and lance the boil already. He's making stupid mistakes here and he needs to knock it off.
How about it, Tony?