- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) | A former porn actress who exchanged emails and Twitter messages with Rep. Anthony D. Weiner said Wednesday that he asked her to lie about their interactions, while a growing chorus of lawmakers pressed for his resignation as the scandal enveloping the congressman enters its third week.

Mr. Weiner has told friends he wanted to speak with his wife, Huma Abedin, before deciding whether to resign. She returned to Washington early Wednesday from a trip to Africa with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Nightclub dancer Ginger Lee is the latest in a series of women who said they received sexually charged messages from the seven-term congressman. The scandal began when Mr. Weiner posted a picture of his underwear-clad crotch on Twitter, then lied about it, saying his account was hacked and trying to deflect blame on others.

Mr. Weiner acknowledged last week during a teary news conference that he had sent lewd photos and messages to about six women in the past three years.

Ms. Lee said she and Mr. Weiner exchanged about 100 emails between March and June after she posted a supportive statement about the congressman on her blog. He then contacted her on Twitter, Ms. Lee said. They mostly discussed politics, but he often would turn the conversation to sex, she said.

“‘I have wardrobe demands, too. I need to highlight my package,’” Mr. Weiner wrote Ms. Lee, in an email read aloud at the news conference by Ms. Lee’s attorney, Gloria Allred.

The 46-year-old congressman, who has taken a two-week leave from the House, was in treatment for an undisclosed disorder at an undisclosed location. A spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

In Washington, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated her call for Mr. Weiner to quit, saying that she wanted to make sure nobody missed her earlier resignation call while members were on a weeklong recess.

Rep. Sander Levin, Michigan Democrat, added: “We should send a strong message to him that he should resign, and let’s see what happens. The more of us who say it, the more telling it will be.”

House Democratic leaders are planning to meet Thursday to consider the next step in handling the scandal.

A House aide described the leadership meeting set for Thursday on the condition of anonymity because officials had not authorized a public discussion of their plans.

House Democratic leaders could decide to strip Mr. Weiner of his committee assignments and could take other actions to punish him.

In an interview two weeks ago, Mr. Weiner said he had exchanged messages with Ms. Lee, but didn’t elaborate.

Ms. Lee said she did not send sexually suggestive messages to Mr. Weiner.

“Anytime that he would take our communications in a sexual direction, I did not reciprocate,” she said.

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