AMANPOUR (voice-over): This week, under fire.
WEINER: I’m deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment and actions.
AMANPOUR: Congressman Anthony Weiner seeks treatment as his own party leaders tell him to seek the exit. The lies, the disgrace, the shocking behavior, and this just the latest in a long line of political men behaving badly. What’s happening in the halls of power?
Then, more pain, little gain.
OBAMA: We are in a tough fight.
AMANPOUR: Anxiety about jobs and fear the recovery is going nowhere.
PAWLENTY: Now, if that was recovery, then our president needs to enter economic rehab.
AMANPOUR: We’ll ask whether either party has a plan to get Americans back to work.
ANNOUNCER: Live from the Newseum in Washington, “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour starts right now.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program. And we have a lot of news to report and discuss today, including the latest on the war in Afghanistan and the race for the White House.
But first, some headlines since your morning papers.
ABC News has obtained the first pictures of the key Al Qaida operative killed in Somalia yesterday. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was the mastermind of the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and became Al Qaida’s top leader in Africa. He was shot by Somali security forces in Mogadishu.
And here in the United States this morning, a picture so many people have been waiting to see, the smiling face of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in her first photo since being shot in the head at point-blank range in early January. Giffords has been steadily improving, but her spokesman says the congresswoman still has a long way to go. She has trouble speaking complete sentences and expressing complex thoughts.
Still today, there’s good news to report. We learned that Giffords could be released from the hospital within a few weeks to continue her rehabilitation on an outpatient basis.
And in Washington, Democrats are in a holding pattern at this hour awaiting Congressman Anthony Weiner’s next move. His sexting scandal is drowning out the party’s message on jobs and the economy. And congressional leaders are getting anxious.
For the latest, we turn to senior political correspondent Jon Karl. Jon, bring us up to date.
KARL: Christiane, with virtually the entire leadership of the Democratic Party turning on him, Anthony Weiner has decided to seek psychological treatment and take what he is calling a short-term leave of absence from Congress. This comes after party leaders who for days have privately been urging him to resign went public with those demands.
Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, “Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressure of being a member of Congress.”
And the chairwoman of the Democratic Party said late yesterday that his behavior was sordid and unacceptable.