On Rep. Rangel, President Obama 'won't put thumb on the scale'

A White House spokesman said Monday that President Obama doesn't intend to weigh in further on the ethics charges surrounding Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).

In a Friday interview with CBS News, the president said he was hopeful Rangel could end his congressional career "with dignity."

"I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well, but these allegations are very troubling," Obama said.

Asked Monday whether those comments meant the president wants Rangel to step down, White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton told reporters, "There’s a bipartisan process that’s working through some serious questions here and the president thinks that it’s appropriate that they conduct that process." 

When pressed, Burton said, "I think the president’s comments speak for themselves. When it comes to this process, he’s just not going to put his thumb on the scale of its outcome."

Still, Friday's comments from the president are a clear indicator that Democratic leaders are still hopeful pressure on Rangel will push him to do whatever possible to avoid a public ethics trial in September. 

One member of the New York congressional delegation told the Daily News that there "isn't a chance in hell he's going to go to a trial."