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.

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

    OK. He just wants to be mayor of new york.

    July 23, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. bluedogboy

    Nothing is sacred when it comes to social media. Either this guy is stupid or he has some real problems. I tend to lean towards the latter. Huma must be furious (again).

    July 23, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Harald

    Why would anybody want this clown as mayor of NY ???

    July 23, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Scott
    Sounds like the typical democrat to me ;-)

    You mean like Vitter, Larry Craig, Foley and Sanford?

    July 23, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Maximus

    What he should say is "I'm sorry for all the wrong I have done and anything else of this nature that I will do in the future..when that happens I want to assure you we will want to put it behind us and move forward".

    July 23, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Rene

    Look what's happening in San Diego, CA and expect the same. NYC you deserve the politicians you vote for!!!!!!

    July 23, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. russinmaine

    From what I have witnessed, this man has the perfect record that seems to appeal to New York Liberals in a big way! He should be a shoo-in!

    July 23, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. reader10

    Lets see how stupid New Yorkers are to vote for him.
    It is a very well paying job and benefits.

    July 23, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. george

    I profoundly believe that people choose the leaders they deserve....... so if new Yorkers elect this man again.....THAT IS WHAT THEY DESERVE

    July 23, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. woodlander2

    Anyone voting for Weiner is either ignorant, stupid or a loyal democratic voter, which in New York they are plentiful.

    July 23, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Des Perado

    Weiner said Tuesday that he really was sorry—in fact he said he’s downright distraught
    Which is Demwit parlance from Bill Clinton to Al Gore for…I’m sorry I got caught

    July 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Dean

    New York is a bastion of liberal Democrats. He will get elected. They do not care if he is a pervert or not.

    July 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. scorpdewd

    Well, at least Churchill had it right. Never, ever look to a politician for moral leadership. But then too so did Diogenes with his lamp. These days Diogenes would need a supertanker to fuel his lamp while searching for that honest man.

    July 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Brett Voight

    The problem I find with this story is why do we care. The only reason we should is if he was up for vote which he is not. Articles like these make me mad because I could really care less about the breaking news of text messages. Get some real news maybe some thats actually doesnt make our country look bad.

    July 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Be Kiind

    Walk away, Huna. I have been in a marriage like yours. He will not change. He thinks he is untouchable. Don't enable him by staying with him. It only sends the message that you are okay with his behavior.

    July 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. arthur meincke

    What ever happened to the U.S. Senator from Louisiana that was chasing around D.C. He is a Republican and still serving in the U.S. Senate. Fishbait Miller, Sergeant at Arms for the U.S. House of Representatives said, alot of these guys get their tales caught in the cracks around Washington, D.C." How true...

    July 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Pat in IL

    It's time for this creepy guy Togo home and stay there.

    July 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Jerome Horowitz

    Fer Chrissake will you just GO AWAY!

    July 23, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. SoulCyclerNYC

    Who cares? This is old news with new photos.

    July 23, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Dean

    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.

    In regards to Clinton.......ever seen a picture of Hillary?

    July 23, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Kaylee

    He has a WEINER for a brain,,lol

    July 23, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Eschrichtius robustus

    I just like that this weiner story is coming out on National Hotdog Day.

    July 23, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. Tom

    This guy needs to find a new line of work. He needs to realize his political career is.. was.. over afte rthe last round of inappropriate behavior.

    July 23, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Bob Dobalina

    In fairness, "Carlos Danger" is a cool name to use.

    July 23, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. John S

    People don't change. Politicians especially do not deserve a second chance. They represent the people and if they cannot set a good example then we do not need them in office representing us.

    July 23, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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