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. vivian

    It is a bit too late for Mr. Weiner... That he would flash himself with pictures of Bill and Hlliary Clinton on a bookstand behind him shows that he is impulsive and does not think before he acts. He got caught up in the moment. What type of a person does that? It is a hard lesson for him. He needs to move on into private practice.

    July 23, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. asdf

    What about the woman, how come her comments are about him not changing and being a bad guy while she was also engaged in this stuff for gifts. She aint an angel.

    July 23, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. malasangre

    So what. Didn't St.Rudy move his mistress into the mansion when the wife had cancer. Now that's messed up

    July 23, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. Lisa

    We cannot focus on one thing this man has done in his life and disregard everything else he has done in his life. He has apologized.

    July 23, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    The folks that re-elect him will get what they deserve.

    July 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Kman66

    Mark my words... this LOSER is going to "seek treatment" in order to avoid any responsibility, and the gullible Liberals will eat it up.

    July 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. archer

    And because New Yorkers just don't know the message this sends they will elect this corrupt pinhead

    July 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Lauradet

    Game OVER !

    July 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Right Mind

    Please – JUST. GO. AWAY

    July 23, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. kit7kat

    Let's keep electing these liars and immoral to the public office and hope good things gonna happen to the public. I support democrat but honesty and morality should come first before politics, period.

    July 23, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. Robin Jones

    I don't think the problem is behind you, Anthony; it's in front of you and still in charge of your thinking.

    July 23, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. Edward

    He is the kind of guy that you scared to think about what might be on his computer.

    July 23, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. U.S. Citizen

    The only vow he broke was the one with his 'Wife' and 'Religion'; but hey what Democrat believes in living by laws, having integrity, or having an honorable character?

    July 23, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. SSE

    You are nuts, mariosphere. In fact, I don't think you even read the article. He did not take ownership of this problem! He resigned after the first scandal AND THEN HE DID IT AGAIN AFTER ADMITTING HE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE THE FIRST TIME! If that is what you call taking ownership of the problem, you are sadly mistaken.

    July 23, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Matt

    Hey, you can't keep a good Weiner down! New Yorkers are a special kind of stupid – He won't have any trouble at all getting elected there.

    July 23, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Gilmore

    Weiner is a pathological liar.

    July 23, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Veeblefester

    Nixon's connection to the Watergate burglary didn't come to light until AFTER the election.

    July 23, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Martha

    How could anyone love that man. He's one sick puppy. He a leopard and we all leopards don't change their spots. He is what he is a slimeball.

    July 23, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. Laurie

    Words are cheap. I don't think I'd be inclined to put much store in what he SAYS. He had his chance and blew it big.

    July 23, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. U.S. Citizen

    Now why couldn't the NSA have kept this secret?

    July 23, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. archer

    Spitzer and Weiner...perfect New Yorkers...

    July 23, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. colin in Florida

    Why does ANYONE trust this man out of their sight? I know all politicians are slime, but this guys is from under the barrel. Personally, I would not vote for this man for dog catcher, for fear of what he might do to a female dog.

    It's about time this schmuck went out and got a real job-if anyone would hire him.

    July 23, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Crocker

    Why is this moron still garnering news? is he that stupid or just too stubborn for his own good?

    July 23, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. U.S. Citizen

    He'll be running for President before we know it.
    Or VP Weiner?

    We still haven't heard from his Interns.

    July 23, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. baa weet

    at-least he manned up and admitted it

    July 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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