NBC: Weiner Resignation Announcement 'Showed Much of His Strength as a Congressman'

During Thursday NBC News special coverage of New York Congressman Anthony Weiner announcing his resignation, congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell remarked to Nightly News anchor Brian Williams: "Anthony Weiner showed much of his strength as a Congressman in what he talked about just now in trying to talk about a message that was something other than this scandal." [Audio available here]

After Weiner finished speaking, Williams wondered: "Kelly, was there ever any salvaging this? It's been – it's been said that if he'd been candid at the beginning he could still have his seat in Congress." O'Donnell acknowledged how damaging the lying was, but then sympathetically observed: "The underlying nature of this type of scandal, which was so embarrassing, also made it very difficult for him to go forward because he has been mocked in a way that no one would ever wish on their enemy."      

O'Donnell also lamented the fate of Weiner's congressional staff: "...his staffers will only have their jobs for another 60 days and they will also be out of work after that. Tough for everyone around here." Williams added: "Absolutely." He then declared the scandal over: "For the Democrats, though, they get to move on from this distraction."


Here is a transcript of the exchange:

2:26PM ET

(...)

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Let's go to Kelly O'Donnell who covers Congress for us as we look at videotape of Congressman – about to be former Congressman – Weiner and his wife, Huma. Kelly, was there ever any salvaging this? It's been – it's been said that if he'd been candid at the beginning he could still have his seat in Congress.

KELLY O'DONNELL: Well, he certainly lost the support of his colleagues and some of his most trusted mentors because he lied to them privately as he was lying to the public, to reporters, to his constituents. And that was certainly very damaging. The underlying nature of this type of scandal, which was so embarrassing, also made it very difficult for him to go forward because he has been mocked in a way that no one would ever wish on their enemy and that has made it really untenable for Democrats who have wanted to get back on message.

And Anthony Weiner showed much of his strength as a Congressman in what he talked about just now in trying to talk about a message that was something other than this scandal. And, Brian, just the sense of the craziness of all of this, we noted today tourists taking photos of the plaque of his name on the wall at his House office. And as you pointed out, his staffers will only have their jobs for another 60 days and they will also be out of work after that. Tough for everyone around here.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely. For the Democrats, though, they get to move on from this distraction. Kelly O'Donnell covers the Hill for us.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC