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Boehner: Lee quit on his own

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House Speaker John A. Boehner says he didn’t force former Rep. Christopher Lee to resign after the married New Yorker was caught flirting via the Internet with a young single woman.

“Congressman Lee made his own decision that he thought was in his best interest and the interest of his family,” said the Ohio Republican Thursday during his weekly Capitol briefing with reporters.

The speaker said Lee “made the right decision for himself and for his family.”

Boehner declined to say what, if anything, he told Lee upon learning about the scandal.

“My conversations with members are private. And they will remain that way,” he said.

Lee, 46, resigned Wednesday hours after a bare-chested photo and e-mail exchanges with the woman were made public by Gawker.com, an online gossip site.

The two-term congressman said he chose to step down because the problems facing his western New York district and the nation “are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue.”

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