Two Republican senators have abandoned disgraced Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, today and called on him to resign his Senate seat.
Presidential candidate Arizona Sen. John McCain and Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman are the first of Craig's colleagues to join Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., in pushing for Craig's resignation.
"My opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn't serve. That's not a moral stand. That's not a holier-than-thou. It's just a factual situation," McCain told CNN.
"Sen. Craig pled guilty to a crime involving conduct unbecoming a senator," Coleman said today in a statement.
Hoekstra said that Craig "represents the Republican Party" and that "his conduct throughout this matter has been inappropriate for a U.S. senator."
With Craig's mug shot making the media rounds, Senate Republican leaders asked him to step down from several committee assignments today.
"Sen. Larry Craig has agreed to comply with leadership's request that he temporarily step down," Senate Republican leaders said in a statement.
Craig was the top Republican on the Veteran Affairs Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee for Public Lands and Forests.
"This is not a decision we take lightly, but we believe this is in the best interest of the Senate until this situation is resolved by the Ethics Committee," read the statement by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and fellow Sens. Trent Lott, R-Miss.; Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.; Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas; and John Ensign, R-Nev.
"It's a very unfortunate situation, very sad and very serious," Sen. Trent Lott told Bloomberg TV Wednesday. "And I think we had to pay very close attention to it as we work on finding out what really went on."
It marked the second day in a row that Republican leaders in the Senate offered no support to Craig.
Republican leaders announced Craig would face an Ethics Committee investigation just before the senator's appearance before reporters Tuesday where he explained his guilty plea.
The White House also offered no support to Craig in a statement today.
"We're disappointed in what's going on," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said. "We hope that it will be resolved quickly, as that would be in the best interests of the Senate and the people of Idaho."
Craig faced television cameras Tuesday in an attempt to explain his guilty plea in a case that followed a lewd conduct investigation.
With his wife by his side, Craig said Tuesday in Idaho: "Let me be clear. I am not gay. I have never been gay."
It was a striking statement from the U.S. senator, who was the subject of a police sting set up in response to complaints of sexual activity in a men's room at a Minnesota airport.
"I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport," said Craig. "I regret my decision to plead guilty and the sadness that decision has brought to my wife, family, friends, staff and fellow Idahoans. And for that, I apologize."
The arresting airport officer has a different story.
Working undercover, Sgt. Dave Karsnia said Craig entered a stall next to him, then tapped his foot and rubbed it against the officer's, a signal, police say, to engage in "lewd conduct."