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. Jason W

    The mans got some serious nerve on him, so I'll give him some respect for that. He's got a good wife, too.

    July 23, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Birdman

    When a Democrat cheats, it's 'private'. and they lay low for a few years and re-emerge as a viable candidate. When a Republican cheats, it's scandalous and they resign. If the people of NY vote for this guy they get what they deserve

    July 23, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Eagle0421

    Having an affair and cheating on your wife,while not a good thing. Posting pictures of yourself on public forums half naked or naked is sick. Comparing the two and saying some other politician cheated on his wife is not the same thing. This Wiener is acting like a psycho.

    July 23, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Laura Carr

    Huma looked pathetic standing next to him-why is she humiliating herself when she is so smart and accomplished?

    July 23, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Demigod Vadik, CA

    Keep in mind...

    ...this guy did not even cheat...

    ...remember South Carolina Sanford anyone??? Or Larry Craig??? David Vitter??? Mark Foley???

    ...all the Republicans above remained in office (or in case of Sanford got back)...

    ...so when Repubs complain about Wiener, I cant take them too seriously...

    July 23, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. George

    They do it once, they will do it again. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop for Mark Sanford...

    July 23, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Lisa

    Why would anyone vote for this loser? Or Spritzer or Sandford? Stupid voters....

    July 23, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    it's not like he could deny it.
    and it's proof he hasn't changed his behavior.

    ...and we're talking about behavior that would question his ability to govern effectively, since he seems prone to put himself in blackmail friendly positions and compromising situations...

    July 23, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Robin Jones

    Run, Huma, run! Run away as fast as you can!

    July 23, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Jungle Jim

    What a bunch of misguided nitwits! Has this guy done anything illegal? Why are you so worried about what gets him off? As long as there are no children involved and nothing forcible inflicted on anyone, who cares (except nitwits and teabaggers)?

    July 23, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. wecandobetter

    Forget this guy!

    July 23, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Marcus

    What a hypocrite rat ! Can these imbeciles represent us ?? And his wife is another idio–ts for being support him .

    July 23, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. malibu123

    Weiner: the quintessential democrat.

    July 23, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. dick Delson

    I'm a lifelong Democrat. I worked in The White House in 1968 for LBJ.
    This idiot should just get lost.

    July 23, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. Susan Brownard

    It's not about whether he's told his wife or if she's forgiven him. It's about his behavior and need to photograph his penis and send it to someone. Does NY really need a mayor that does that? It's about public trust. This man does not deserve to hold public office. It's ick!!!

    July 23, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. DrDragster

    Isnt his wife's name Huma-Liated? Poor woman..

    July 23, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. CaesarXIII

    NYC will be the next Detroit under this guys leadership. I'm sure it's already at that point though.

    July 23, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    That's why you have to read a piece of paper for your so called apology

    July 23, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. U.S. Citizen

    Well, at least we know what his campaign logo should be.

    July 23, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. Demian

    Wow, what a fool to AGAIN put at risk his marriage to a beautiful, patient, and ambitious woman.

    July 23, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Joshua Wertheim

    He knew he had kept up this ultra-marital obsession past his outing while in Congress, while he was contemplating a run for office, and kept doing it in spite of a reasonable expectation he would be caught again. That shows a mental imbalance that completely suits him for his role in politics but not a role in government, not to mention a complete disregard of the mind of New Yorkers who were willing to forgive him. Once burned shame on the politician, twice burned shame on the voters.

    July 23, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. Whatever

    Someone asked if he can be a good mayor.

    My feelings are if he can lie and betray his wife, his family and the people closest to him, then he most certainly can lie to anyone else, especially the nameless, faceless masses. People make mistakes. We all make mistakes. It seems his behavior continued on beyond his being "caught" and that's what has me saying, "no" to this guy.

    It's like someone who has their drivers license taken away for drunk driving but they continue to drive without it.

    July 23, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    It's been my experience that whenever a Weiner is involved .. there's bound to be trouble!

    July 23, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. fredb

    Now here is guy to run a city? – 'great credentials' – no morals – lies – and has the brass to ask for your vote.

    I really feel sorry for his wife – why does she continue to stand up for him ? The guy give hard working clowns a bad name.

    July 23, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. MagicPanties

    Oh, he is _so_ toast.
    It's one thing to beg forgiveness, but to do the same crap again?
    Nope, not forgiving no mo', no how, no way.

    July 23, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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