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. Morgan

    People deserve the government they get.
    He is now trying to blame someone besides himself. That is a such a typical tactic of the mentally weak who have no morals.

    They made me do it because they didn't love me enough. As an adult YOU are responsible for your actions. I bet $100 if he had a daughter and someone sent inappropriate texts to her, he would want them severely punished. That's the mentality of: "It's not that bad if I do it but don't you dare."

    So long as the public keeps forgiving and allowing pervs and dishonest people to run for office and be re-elected that is what kind of government they will have. DISHONEST PERVS.

    July 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. joebob

    Just more proof that history repeats itself again and again...This guy would be better off as a comedian because he's a real screwball nutjob.

    July 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Mike Steele

    I think this demonstrates a complete lack of self control by Mr. Weiner. I am not a prude, but if he can't evn be smart enough to get away with it, he is not smart enough to be Mayor.

    July 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Ted Ward

    This country needs something more than narcissistic sociopaths with impulse control issues and fuzzy boundaries to run for elected office. If you can't be trusted by your wife, we can't trust you either. Go home. Wiener should withdraw. Spitzer should do the same. Let's move on.

    July 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. marianne

    Why the hell does his wife stay with him!? He's a pig!

    July 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. I_know

    Mike in Denver

    I judge my political leaders on the LIES they tell

    Clinton,Spitzer,Weiner all DENIED doing it

    then when the PROOF came...

    July 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. cosmo

    Just to show you How stupid the people are,,,they will vote him into office..Watch and see

    July 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. my02cents

    I love how this is front page news for CNN and not even mentioned on Fox. Both sites, CNN and FOX are so one sided towards their own parties that the political corruption of this Country shines. SMH

    July 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. gajb

    If New Yorkers vote this pervert into office, they deserve what they get. He is a disgrace. Huma should divorce him.

    July 23, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. K. Schipper

    This guy shows the maturity of a 14-year-old. A good decision-maker he is not.

    July 23, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Babyboomer

    He needs to go find a job in the private sector and give his wife a break. Since he clearly sent out pictures and words that could surface at anytime from here on out, he needs to stop trying to hold public office for a very long time. NewYorkers are smart people. I don't think they will elect him to any office right now. I say, go home to your wife and spent some real time making this mess up to her. The fact that she stayed should motivate him enough to try and really fix this mess.

    July 23, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Chris

    This guy is hilarious. I thought it was really nice that he was an example of "second chances" but no more....Caveat Emptor if NY elects this guy.....Caveat Emptor......

    July 23, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Stand Your Ground

    Guys everywhere are losing their cool.

    July 23, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. VIC

    Somehow the polls in the New York have him leading for the democratic nomination or mayor. This is how moronic voters in certain places are. It doesn't matter what the person does just as long as they have that D after their name. This pervert should drop out of the mayoral race immediately. He was clearly engaging in this behavior even after he resigned and after he said more stuff would come out. Yeah no kidding especially if you never bothered to stop.

    July 23, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. J. Mama

    He should say God forgives him – seems to work for ALL the Republican LIARS and cheats...they even get re-elected...Sanford in SC ring a bell?

    July 23, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Maria Delaluz

    A war on Weiner. Oops, I mean, on women. No my friends, I don't think it's just the Republicrats waging a war on women. It's all the Weiners, Spitzers, Vitters, Sanders, Clihtons, etc. etc. that are the ones waging a war on women. Oh my, how horrible they treat their wives! And YOU, the voters are the ones that put them there again and again and again............

    July 23, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Susan

    Why no new faces? Why is _anyone_ interested in old names...old disillusionment like this? Where Democracy fails all of us. We get people who have fallen from grace. Newt is a great example too. Every four years these people are going to be on the ballot because they are filthy rich and love 'wasting' their money in a society that loves supporting politics.

    July 23, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Maximus

    Well...what can you expect with a name like that. Go for it NY.

    July 23, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. General Specific

    He'll still get voted in. This is the country we live in now.

    July 23, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. roccoenzo

    What an idiot. NY deserves what they get if they elect him. Dishonest, egotistical, morally corrupt, disgrace to humanity. His wife surely could do better, if she wanted to. He should run for mayor of Mogadishu.

    July 23, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. northerstar

    Ok.This simpleton had to resign from Congress due to a series of stupid TEXT messages he send to women he says "he did not know" that contained pictures of him either naked, or semi-naked. Great behavior for (1) a married man and (2) a US Congressman (did he really NOT think someone might recognize him?).
    He told us it was just poor judgement, that he learned his lesson so "please forgive me". and let me LEAD the city of New York. Everyone that wants to hold him accountable is being told that "everyone does this" and that it happens it both parties. How do any of these excuses help qualify him to LEAD the city of New York.
    THEN, HE DOES IT AGAIN just last year (a year AFTER he was forced to leave Congress).
    Sooo; I don't care if "everyone "does it" and I don't care "if this is being done by BOTH parties". Weiner is TO STUP$D to lead the city of New York or anything else. Voters have the right to expect BETTER from those who want to lead us. Keep electing the worse possible candidates and you only deserve what you get !

    July 23, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. arthur meincke

    What's a matter with you anyway? You can kiss your political future goodbye!

    July 23, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. fredlschmil

    All he wants to do is be mayor of New York?

    July 23, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Olaf Big

    I actually hope that both of them win, if for no other reason then so that americans develop a healthy indifference to minor personal indiscretions and those stop being used to blackmail and topple politicians. Also, Elliott Spitzer is an intelligent and capable guy- it's good to have him in the race. He also handled his scandal very well. He gets my respect for that, if not for spending campaign money to visit a professional. Weiner is a lightweight and he deserved ridicule, but I'll let voters decide.

    July 23, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. Ken

    Oh you Democrats, always voting for the most immoral or corrupt people. At least conservatives turn their nose at a person and they tend to go away. But Democrats .. from Marion Barry and his drug charges to Jesse Jackson seeking to buy a Senate seat to Jefferson in Louisiania with $10,000 in the fridge to Weiner in NY .. morals and ethics are definately NOT part of the Democratic candidate strengths.

    July 23, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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