July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
12 months 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.

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Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (1,191 Responses)
  1. Bill inVA

    This Weiner is cooked.....unless of course the NY voters are like the DC voters who can't seem to get enough of the buffoon Marion Barry

    July 23, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. alberto d

    what do you expectwith a name like weiner :)

    July 23, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. winchester74

    This is why the NSA needs to monitor all your electronic communications. Whoever is in charge of the domestic spying network can dig up dirt on any "enemy" they want to destroy any time they want to destroy them. It's not just Al Queda anymore. It's everybody. And there is no way to stop them. Laugh about Weiner, but remember, Big Brother is watching you as you read this.

    July 23, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Robyn Corl

    Seriously, this guy should not even be on the radar. Go crawl in the hole you came from.

    July 23, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Mark

    This guy has totally disrespected his wife and family, I feel so bad for his family. I don't understand how his wife can stay by his side after repeated humiliation. Weiner is setting a new bar for political low life.

    July 23, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. dtg

    Greg Gutfeld for Mayor!

    July 23, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Balls of Steel

    Old news people. Don't let the news fool you.

    July 23, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Jason

    Everyone makes mistakes.....but this guy did it again after he already got caught and resigned. Now trying to re enter politics, he has done it again. Politicians don't learn and don't care. We the people need to hold them on higher standards. Your allowed to make mistakes, but seriously the same one again. And who knows how many more times it has happened, these are the times we hear about.

    July 23, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Don't care

    This is old news and the conversations are from the original scandal, nothing new to see here. Oh and this in no way says anything about his qualifications to be mayor. Fact is the best president of the last 20 years was getting a BJ in the oval office by an intern and frankly, I wouldn't mind him being president again. All this guy did was talk and share photos....get over it.

    July 23, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. 1termlimits

    This guy belongs in NYC....He need's to get far away from the internet....unplug dude

    July 23, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. tjp44

    if New york elects this guy, they will look like us in California regarding politics.......no one really wants that do we?

    July 23, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. abby1

    He needs to stay out of politics. He has proved once again he cannot be trusted.

    July 23, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. SeeThruIt2

    How many people contributed to his election campaign? Do you feel cheated YET?

    July 23, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Right Mind

    Just. Go. Away.

    July 23, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. VenomByte

    Silly Weiner can't keep his politics in his pants! His wife is an idiot in denial.

    July 23, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. asdrel

    Again???
    You would think this person might have learned something from his previous mistake. How foolish can you really be???

    July 23, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Oreste Ona

    Skinny strong face!

    July 23, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. RW0r1d

    So there is at least one (probably more) nearing middle aged male in NY that needs to flirt or likes to flirt to reinforce his masculinity. Let's face it, he's not Channing Tatum. So what gives, it's news or was it that his wife actually believed he'd put it behind him? The 22 year old believed him after knowing his past? Better him than the hands on grandpa in San Diego.

    July 23, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Mike

    Hahaa, really now? Will we ever see a politician come forward and say "What I did was right. I'd do it again." rather than such politically correct statements.

    July 23, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Canopy

    When your focus remains below the belt its difficult to get ADEQUATE blood flow where it needs to be.

    July 23, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Daws

    Old news, politically timed.

    July 23, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. dave

    Surely the American voter can find someone of a higher moral standing to represent them.

    July 23, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. woodie

    I don't care what this guy does in his private life. He is famous. He probably gets plenty of attention from women. Why do I care? I do not care.

    July 23, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. gisthatright

    He shouldn't be married. Just sayin. Seems devilish of them both to be married still. He's a pervert for sure though. Huma is a submissive slave.

    July 23, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. david

    Maybe this is no big deal. Maybe its just people being people talking about their fantasies or whatever.

    Maybe he's a hypocritical ass for apologizing for something he doesn't believe is a big deal only for political purposes.

    July 23, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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