Rep. Anthony Weiner was MIA at this weekend’s big Israel Day parade in New York City, drawing fire from members of his own party who said he should have shown up.
With the scandal still swirling and questions unanswered over a lewd photograph of an underwear-clad man sent via his Twitter account, Weiner canceled all his planned public appearances over the weekend, including walking in Sunday’s Celebrate Israel Parade along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, a show of solidarity with the Jewish state that he has attended in past years.
“I’d like to see him here,” Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said at the parade, the New York CBS affiliate reported. “He cares about Israel, [is] very active in the Jewish community, and he ought to be here.”
Former New York City comptroller Bill Thompson, who’s seen as one of Weiner’s top potential rivals in the 2013 mayor’s race, said that the situation surrounding Weiner is “becoming a huge circus” and “it’s unfortunate that the congressman didn’t deal with this quickly.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y), also at the parade, noted Weiner’s absence but avoided criticism. “It’s going to be up to the congressman how he handles this and people will have their opinion when they actually have the facts,” he told the New York Post.
A handful of Weiner’s colleagues who represent New York City in the House refused to comment at the parade.
“I’m not here to pass judgment,” Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) told CBS. “I’m not trained in that area.”
“I know what you want to ask me, and I don’t want to answer,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney said.
Weiner’s office did not immediately respond to POLITICO’s request for comment on why Weiner skipped the parade.
Weiner, who has said his Twitter account was hacked and that he cannot say with “certitude” that the photo sent to a Seattle-area college student is not of him, also backed out of a Friday night speech at the Wisconsin Democratic Convention. The state party’s spokesman said Weiner had cancelled of his own accord, saying he wanted to spend the weekend with his wife Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton whom he married last year.
Before the scandal hit, Weiner, whose district includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens, was also expected to make an appearance at Sunday’s gay pride parade in Jackson Heights, Queens, but he skipped that event.
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