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. Veeblefester

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

    Didn't Republicans just put Mark Sanford back into office in SC? Pot and kettle?

    July 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. pya10sn

    This guy needs serious help... Not election to an office that requires public trust... His advisors need to show some compasion and tell him to remove his name from consideration... He is headed for self destruction....

    July 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. hoopsvader

    We need to vote this guy in and let everyone know it was a big joke after he wins. Lets get this started.

    July 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Rs1201

    Give it up Weiner!
    Being mayor of one of the most important cities in the world is not something that someone who has behaved as Weiner has can aspire to becoming. It's just not going to happen!
    I certainly will not vote for this pervert! He should be getting treatment at some psychiatric hospital
    He doesn't belong at Gracie Mansion!

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

    Who care's what he or anyone else doe's in private? The only problem is that others make it an issue, because they always have to know what other people are doing outside of work. There just as many women, who do the same thing behind their husbands back.

    July 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. California

    Weiner takes after his impeached hero Bill Clinton

    July 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Steve Allard

    It would be nice if he switched his party affiliation to GOP just so we can watch the republicans abruptly turn and start defending him. He might even get a paid gig on Fox news next to that Huckleberry guy.

    July 23, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. enough already

    enough air time for this guy already, he is not fit for public office, just go away already!

    July 23, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Monomachos

    If he is elected mayor, you can be certain that his narcissistic bizarre behavior will continue. Why anyone would want that show to continue is beyond me.

    July 23, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. dxejon

    My favorite quote, "A mans character may be measured by the temptations he resists"

    July 23, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. mike

    Oh this is just epic.

    July 23, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Texas

    Weiner should: 1) quit being a predator 2) GET A REAL JOB

    July 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. gmenfan54

    Anthony Weiner would make a great Republican.

    July 23, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Clearly

    This is how people behave, stop acting like humans aren't having being intimate or attracted to others. I understand he is married, but it is between him and his wife. You never know what people's lifestyles are like. The people who are throwing stones are usually the biggest offenders, just glad they didn't get caught. Can he be a good mayor is the question...do you agree with his policies...does he provide solutions to things that you care about??

    July 23, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. mohamed

    its his life he should live it how ever he want it not right when we get in his businesses just because he politician

    July 23, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. mercfan

    This guy obviously has a problem. He needs to drop out and get help. If he stays in the race, I sure hope the people of NYC do not vote him into office.

    July 23, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. DB Cooper

    Actually he didn't take ownership, he denied the worst of the comments and photos, said 'some' was true but that he's moved on and is a different person, even though this info was posted from a chat session that came AFTER his first episode. He's learned nothing, the guy has ZERO morals, ZERO remorse. He simply doesn't care what he does which is why he got into trouble in the first place. Shows what a slimey, manipulate liar this guy is.

    July 23, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Knucklehead

    Carlos Danger.?....this guy is ready to be mayor.

    July 23, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. John Anderson

    You just couldn't make up this stuff. Talk about a narcissistic, self-destructive moron. What's really sad is that, a la Marion Barry, they people of NYC will elect him anyway.

    July 23, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. suffer'n succatash

    Typical politician values.

    July 23, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Jz

    With a name like Weiner, what do you expect? I blame his parents.

    July 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. david alejandro

    Passing moral judgments on Anthony Weiner... how disingenuous!!.. and petty. I thought we were electing the City Mayor not our "Moral Compass." I already have that: it's called my parents. This is supposed to be based on political views and proposed public policies that will benefit all New Yorkers not on subjective morality. People, let's not lose perspective here...

    July 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. Namejax

    feel so sorry for his wife

    July 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Name B o

    Who cares what he does in his own private life really who cares? Like someone mentioned above , it is just because he is a public figure people need to find dirt. This goes on every single day in every parts of life. I worked in a call center where everyone was sleeping with everyone including the brass. As long as he is a bad ass mayor or whatever he becomes that's all that matters. Some people are just a bunch of hippocrates.

    July 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. senseless humor

    It's just funny his last name is weiner given the allegations.

    July 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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