July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
9 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. volsocal

    While CNN amplifies this non-story (and several others), the plan by Congress and the President to interfere in Syria is far more wrong. Write your Senators and Representatives and tell them no on Syrian intervention. It is easy to do. Google their names and it will take you right to a comment form to their offices.

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Dorothy

    What? He took it out again?. This must be the same wiener Elaine Benes used to date.

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Justapenis

    First of all, when a plumber comes to your house do you wonder if he's posted dirty pictures of himself online? Of course not, you're worried about whether he can fix your toilet. We need people who can govern, not virgin saints. Secondly, why do we expect the famous: actors, athletes, politicians, to somehow be morally superior and without blemish? It's our sickness, not theirs. And as for you Republicans, we can go on all day about the infidelities and indiscretions of both Democrats and Republicans, so just give me a break.

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. flasher3838

    he is a strong progressive and therefore he wants to help people of color. because he wants to help people of color he is being piled on even though he broke no law. therefore all criticism of him is racist in nature. if you criticize weiner its cause you are a racist. did i get the wright

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. oneWayfarer

    Going for the PERVERT Vote.

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. HereNGone4

    Weiner...Aha, the name fits.

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Bob

    So the guy's a wiener. He's a politician, ain't he?

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Judy in NYC

    Apart from acting like a frat boy, he conducted his escapades WHILE WORKING FOR US, THE TAXPAYERS! Anyone else working for a company and doing such things on company time would be fired! It is not for us to judge his marital issues, but it is for us to judge his work performance and capabilities. It appears he is not focused on the important issues whilst on the job and has other "interests". He forgot he was a PUBLIC SERVANT and did not have a carte blanche to use his taxpayer-money-acquired computer for his hobbies. He is therefore not deserving our hard-earned tax money and anyone who votes for him is naïve to think that he won't mess up again.

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Kman66

    Liberals KNOW that their base will vote for them even if it means dragging the country to the depths of hell. It's not about the good of the country, it's about "winning the game". The whole bite, nose, face, spite thing. Now we have to live in the mess that has been created by voters who never had a clue what they were actually voting in.

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. James R

    Of all the intelligent, honorable, moral and capable people there are in New York City, how this guy has even a minimal chance of being elected the city's mayor is beyond imagination. New York, do yourself a favor and look elsewhere for leadership.

    July 23, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Reckless

    It seems like everyones missing the political favors he was promising....

    July 23, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. livingston

    Big deal. At least it was a woman and not a boy or a man like some people. Looking at you GOP's.

    July 23, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Georgia Coyote

    He's weak and that won't ever change. Its gross and sordid, exemplifying everything that is wrong with politics today.

    July 23, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Kman66

    Mike in Denver, the only thing you can be sure of, is that you are NOT a very smart man!

    July 23, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Blossom

    For pete's sake – GET SOME HELP!!!! (and stop running for public office)!!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. name

    weiner needs to keep it in his pants or his wife just needs to give it up more often.

    July 23, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. Shecky

    This man is SICK. Why does his wife put up with him? He's not even the SLIGHTEST BIT attractive.

    July 23, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Chris

    I don't know Weiner from a hot dog but I do know this: sometimes, people are sorry for what they did when in fact, they are really sorry that they got caught for it. Other people, are truly sorry. Being caught in a wrong-doing is often a very liberating experience. Once all of your cards are on the table, you are at your most vulnerable and it is at that point that you can being with a clean slate. This guy may just be the creep from hell – but then again, having laid himself bare for all to see, he may very well be the reformed individual that he claims.

    I speak only about redemption and not the political platforms involved.

    July 23, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Eric

    Bill Maher pointed out that it's always easier for Republicans to extricate themselves from these types of scandals than Democrats because they can just tell their supporters that they asked Jesus for forgiveness and Jesus said "no problem." It also helps that Jesus ALWAYS forgives you; what was the last time someone said they asked Jesus for forgiveness and Jesus said 'no?'

    July 23, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. LibsWon'tWoteForHim!!!

    No, "Repubes", we, the "Libs: will not vote for him....were not going to before this came up, nor after. I have my standards!

    July 23, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. George Downtown

    So what? He had some online fun. I don't care about that. The timing of these "new" revelations is suspect. I give him a pass. t's not like we didn't already know there was online stuff about him. The rival campaigns are surely behind this. It scares them that New Yorkers will give people second, third, fourth etc. chances. They have to be stunned that he can lead the polls with his dirt exposed. Bring it on.

    July 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. sevensins

    Yup quality individual. Just what we need in a position of authority. Yea he won't abuse that! If they cannot conduct themselves responsibly in their personal life what makes you think he will do so in a public service position? No morals no restraint no class no integrity.

    July 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Kathy - Arizona

    WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS GUY? - How can some of these men be so smart & so stupid? (former President Clinton included). UNBELIEVABLE.

    July 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. lagunalady27

    This perv should go away. Anyone voting for him is either ignorant, or stupid.

    July 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. Bronco from the Bronx

    It's time for NYC to have its first female mayor.

    July 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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