July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
1 year ago

Weiner, with wife at side, says lewd exchanges happened after resignation

Updated at 10:13 p.m. ET on 7/23

(CNN) - With his wife by his side, New York mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner said Tuesday that some of the sexually explicit online exchanges that were published by a gossip website happened after his resignation from the U.S. House in 2011.

"Some of these things happened before my resignation, some happened after," Weiner said at a hastily organized press conference in New York, where he also pushed back when asked if the latest revelation would prompt him to drop out of the race.

His remarks came hours after screenshots of sexually charged conversations and photographs appeared on a gossip website which alleged the communications were between Weiner and a young woman last summer.

Weiner resigned his House seat in New York after admitting to sending lewd photographs and images to multiple women.

In an extraordinary move, Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, appeared beside her husband Tuesday and made brief remarks backing him.

"What I want to say is I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as I have said from the beginning, we are moving forward," said Abedin, a top adviser to Hillary Clinton, adding that Weiner had made some "horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress, and after."

PHOTOS: Weiner addresses lewd exhanges

Weiner resisted calls from some of his rivals for the Democratic mayoral nomination to give up his bid, adding, "I'm sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race."

The New York chapter of the National Organization for Woman called on Weiner to withdraw from the race following his press conference.

"As if we didn't already have enough evidence of Anthony Weiner's utter lack of judgment, impulse control and honesty, these latest revelations show the degree to which his candidacy distracts us from the important business of choosing the next leader of New York City," Sonia Ossorio, the president of the group, wrote in a statement.

The editorial board of the New York Times followed suit, writing "At some point, the full story of Anthony Weiner and his sexual relationships and texting habits will finally be told. In the meantime, the serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City."

READ MORE: Who's in the lead in the New York City mayoral race?

Earlier in the day, Weiner released a statement admitting that some of the conversations and photos that appeared on the website TheDirty.com were his.

"While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong," Weiner said.

In the statement, Weiner pointed to previous comments he made around the time he announced his bid for New York City mayor, in which he said it was possible for more photos to come out as he made a re-entry into politics.

"I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have," he said Tuesday.

The exchanges that surfaced Tuesday were revealed about a year after they allegedly took place and in the middle of Weiner's Democratic primary campaign for New York mayor.

"This behavior is behind me. I've apologized to Huma and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness," he said.

READ MORE: Has the road to political redemption gotten shorter?

In facing reporters, Weiner was supported by his wife, who in emotional comments discussed the couple's struggles to save their marriage.

"I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage," she said. "That was a decision I made for me, for our son, and for our family."

"This was the first time we heard his wife, Huma Abedin, speak at a press conference, but also speak about these issues," CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash said. "This wasn't just a scene of a wife standing by her political man. This was a wife coming up to the cameras, coming up to the microphones, and talking, which was frankly extraordinary. She is somebody who isn't just a wife. She is very politically savvy."

"Maybe most importantly, she learned at the knee of Hillary Clinton, somebody who most famously stood by her man politically. And so she's following in those footsteps,” Bash continued.

READ MORE: Huma Abedin, a Hillary Clinton adviser, emerges from privacy to spotlight

As Weiner's latest scandal unfolded, Harper's Bazaar published excerpts of an article Abedin wrote for the magazine.

"Three years ago I was a single workaholic, traveling the globe with an amazing job at the U.S. State Department. I could not have imagined how much my life would change in three short years," Abedin wrote for the magazine's September issue.

"Today I'm married, with a feisty 20-month-old son, a full-time job, and a husband running for mayor of New York."

Abedin said she has kept her personal life private for years, and no one is more surprised than she is to see herself on the campaign trail.

"So why am I doing this? Because Anthony has always been a smart, caring, and dedicated person, and while he's the same public servant who wants what's best for the people he represents, he is now something else-a better man," Abedin wrote.

Weiner’s public remarks came after chat messages purporting to be from Weiner were published on the website TheDirty.com. The post cited a "solid" source alleging Weiner engaged in lewd online conversations with her, and reproduced lengthy chats that were sexual in nature.

READ MORE: 'Women for Anthony' hope to boost Weiner mayoral bid

The woman, 22, says Weiner vowed to secure her a place on a panel hosted by Politico, as well as purchase a condominium for her in Chicago.

"I just want people to really know he's lying when he acts like he has changed," the unnamed woman told TheDirty.

In one instance, an explicit photo was published that the site claimed Weiner sent to the woman online. The name Weiner used online was "Carlos Danger," according to TheDirty.com

Weiner, who represented parts of Brooklyn and Queens, resigned from Congress after admitting to sending lewd photographs to multiple women online. At first he hedged on whether the photos were of him, including in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"It certainly doesn't look familiar to me, but I don't want to say with certitude to you something that I don't know to be the certain truth," Weiner said at the time.

After more reports of online exchanges with other women surfaced, fellow Democrats encouraged Weiner to resign, which he ultimately did after confessing to the indiscretions.

In the run-up to his mayoral bid, which he launched in May, he said more photos could emerge.

"If reporters want to go and try to find more, I can't say they're not going to be able to find another picture, find another person who may want to come out on their own," he told RNN Television. "But I'm not going to contribute to that. The basics of the story are not going to change. It's behind me. It was a huge mistake."

Polls taken over the past several weeks have shown Weiner either leading his closest rival for the Democratic mayoral nomination, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, or trailing her in second place.

PHOTOS: Top 10 political comebacks

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Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (1,191 Responses)
  1. Charles van Heck

    He is what New York deserves.

    July 23, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. rob0rah

    What an idiot!

    July 23, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    Normal people don't vote for people like this. This guy could be black mailed in an instant!

    July 23, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. wow

    I hope this guy never gains possession of my cell phone number! He is going to have a difficult time getting anyone to give him their personal information

    July 23, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. cleareye1

    He's had his second chance and blew that too. Goodbye.

    July 23, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. nornoel

    It was reported, when WeinerGate first broke, that The Weiner tol;d his friends he blamed his cheating on his in-laws(!) for not thinking he was good enough for their daughter because he was Jewish, i.e., non-Muslim. The Weiner needs to get the message: they didn't like him because he is NOT good enough for Huma Abdin, who is a beautiful, elegant, intelligent and accomplished woman whose only major fault, as far as I can see, is her poor taste in men. One can only hope that The Weiner has indeed obtained help during the past year, and that it sticks. As to whether the present woman set him up, if so, he certainly made her job easy. New York, New York: ditch this creep, or you'll be stuck like we San Diegans with a mayor who is simply a public disgrace.

    July 23, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Big shock there.... but the libs will still vote for him !

    July 23, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Larry L

    He should use the tried and true Republican method for redemption. Tell us you've found Jesus. Say he forgave you. In a tearful interview, with your wife by your side, tell us you're a changed man. Then make up a conspiracy filled with half-truths, distortions, and outright lies – to take the heat off of your situation. It works! We're a stupid people...

    July 23, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. austintexas1961

    The sound you hear is the sound of his supporters rushing for the exit.

    July 23, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. tom l.

    @Sniffit,
    "What CNN isn't reporting: the timestamps were edited out of the images"

    What are trying to say? I don't know what CNN has to do with this one...

    July 23, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. sf

    who cares! he who is without sin, cast the first stone!

    Also, i like Weiner as a politician however, he is the type of guy in this country who believes that they can get away with anything they want...so for that reason i do not support him! get lost dirt bag!

    July 23, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Kevin

    Don't worry! He's a Democrat so it's fine. Just like with Clinton, Filner, Edwards, Spitzer... the list goes on.

    July 23, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. mark shiro

    do not vote for this man, who obviously does not respect women. he is a creep!

    July 23, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Kennedy

    CNN Breaking News – July 24, 2013

    Today NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg amended the law prohibiitng soft drink cups larger than 16 ounces to inlcude a prohibiting social media communication with Anthony Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    get a real job like all the rest of us pervs....

    July 23, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. martin

    My God, Weiner, go home! Millions of men have probably done the same thing or worse. But you were in Public Office and are trying to make a comeback. You gotta try to control the Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Patrick

    I can't decide which is more shameless and narcissistic, posting nude pictures of yourself online, or running for public office again after resigning in disgrace.

    July 23, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Who cares about his apology? Catch a hint: It's over, Weiner. Do at least one respectable thing and disappear, loser!

    July 23, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Jason

    what about the women that stand by these so called husbands of theirs.....No amount of power and money is worth it...leave them.

    July 23, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. barbara

    Weiner and Spitzer should both just give up. Yeah... we forgive you, but that doesn't mean we're going to vote for you!!

    July 23, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Tom

    Livin' up to the name. Brilliant.

    July 23, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Shawn

    It's National Hot Dog Day...he couldn't help himself!!!

    July 23, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. jo

    You weenie !! Your lying through your teeth ! I see you political experience has taught you well,,although we are not buying it. Perhaps a janitorial job!!

    July 23, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. me

    It's time people stop looking at the Left and Right for blame... look for good/bad... I'm a fairly liberal guy but laughed at his gall when he first announced his candidacy for mayor... he is an untrustworthy loser just like Mark Sanford... Be smart people, don't buy into the finger pointing between sides, start with someone who deserves trust and go from there.

    July 23, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. bob

    The name is weiner , I have no brains cannot be trusted with a smart phone. Send me to the looney bin.

    July 23, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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