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. Jules

    Just too stupid to be mayor.

    July 23, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Edward

    The only thing he is sorry for is that he got caught. And Spitzer, too.

    July 23, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. flschmild

    It's kind of like Syria. I don't choose the President of Syria.
    I don't choose the Mayor of New York.
    If the people of New York wish to elect Mr Weiner their next mayor, that is their decision.
    I also don't feel that I have any right to interfere with Syrians' choice of leadership either.
    Does this make some kind of sense to anyone down there?
    Or am I just totally out of it?

    July 23, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. elbodega

    As Robin Williams commended during an appearance on the Jay Leno Show....

    A boy asked his gradmother "gramma how can such smart men be so stupid"
    and his grandmother answered "sonny, its simple. GOD gave man two things,
    a brain and a penis, but only enough blood to run them one at a time"

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

    I don't actually care what two consenting adults did via phone or text or in the bedroom. I don't think it has anything to do with his ability to lead; his leadership problems are unrelated to his texting proclivities. "Family values" is just a catch phrase and clearly we know just about everyone who espouses them has more than enough of their own skeletons in their closets that would shock middle America.

    July 23, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. zon

    He, apparently, does not learn from his mistakes.

    July 23, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. kondordisqus

    >>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...

    Funny how you leave out Nixon, Reagan and Bush. Bias much?

    July 23, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. chad

    This mentioned how in 2011 Weiner lied about the pics being not him at first, but the article forgot to mention Weiner first taking a page out of Clinton's book, and blamed "a right-wing hacker/conspiracy" for the tweet that got him in trouble.

    July 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Falk

    Attn: Wife of the Weiner. Call an attorney and never look back. Also, may want to get tested. And to all the players who cheat on their wives. If you want to be a little boy who cant be faithful and control your hormones maybe consider not getting married and staying home with Mom...

    July 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Weineritus

    Carlos Danger? – How about rotten weiner....

    July 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Womanizers are womanizers for life. They are like drug addicts. They cannot stop. EVER!

    July 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. why why why

    There was a time you actually had to meet someone in person to cheat, now you're cheating if you send text messages to someone?? whats next? Thought Police?
    There's only one thing that you can absolutely guarantee........there's a woman at the root of all this nonsense

    July 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. j.byrd

    If New Yorkers elect this guy then they are all losers!

    July 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. Susan M

    OMG. What an IDIOT. Weiner is a good name for him.

    July 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. donklos

    Fool me once....

    July 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. William

    Is this all we can get to run for office? What is going on? Crazy

    July 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. John Nathan

    Come on you people, lets all pull our Wieners for Wiener. NYC deserves the Full Package.

    July 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

    Well, just goes to also show that you can't change the spots in a leopard. But is it all that rare these days?!

    July 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. The Realist

    First of all, this guy needs a psychotherapist ... badly.

    Next, he should retain the services of a divorce lawyer.

    He's going to need both of them on call.

    July 23, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. observer

    At least he didn't kill the girl like Teddy Kennedy.

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

    It is a sad statement, as how low we have set the bar for public office. Would this clown have even try to run 30 years ago?

    July 23, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. l

    Its a desease beyond their control.

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

    Why is Nixon in this group? He was not trying to run for office after Watergate.

    July 23, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. mariosphere

    Good for Weiner. He took ownership of the problem. Now, let's move on. We should learn something from politicians in other countries, where the press is not so prurient (nor the public that reads the press there).

    July 23, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Leave it to New York to elect someone like this.

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