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. Jupman

    Who cares they probably have an open marriage and just don't want to say so. I could three girlfriends if I wanted.

    July 23, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Rusty Shakleford

    Anthony Weiner should not be erected to the pubic orifice. He has exposed himself too many times and his behavior is wreck less.

    July 23, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. Sandra Does Life

    Weiner likes to let it all hang out doesn't he?

    July 23, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Crisster

    Anthony, please, please just go away.

    July 23, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Ricky

    Who are we to judge this man? Imperfection has been our greatest problem, and we all have our own skeletons hidden dormant in our closets. We are just not caught yet! As long as there is a night and a day, imperfection will always linger around, and we will rise and fall as such (Imperfect)... ERRARE HUMANUM EST.( To err is human) and to divulge it is really stupid.

    July 23, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. DustyOnes

    What i did was wrong...but its how I get my jollies so I keep doing it.

    – Anthony Weiner

    July 23, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. wordsnorth

    This talking weiner is certainly a slow learner. I can't imagine why that poor woman stands beside him while he continues to humiliate himself.

    July 23, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. Uncle Sam

    Weiner is now calling the communications .. Spitzergram's

    July 23, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. george

    Did he exchange any pictures with miners? (There has been some speculation that he did).

    July 23, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. rc

    This must be the cause of the NYC heatwave!!!

    July 23, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. DJ Reality

    Governor McDonnell are you watching? Weiner did something wrong and admitted it. McDonnell did something wrong and keeps denying it.

    July 23, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Jedd Streeter

    Come to San Diego "Carlos Danger" and be our mayor. Bob Filner could use a friend.

    July 23, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. BigWaveAlex

    It's good for Weiner that NY democratic voters don't seem to have any real sense of right and wrong. It explains why he's still up in the polls.

    July 23, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Natch

    Exactly what did people expect, from a guy named Weiner?? Heck, he can't even spell it right!! (wiener)

    A shame, really, seeing a Democrat doing these things. Breaks my heart. Really, it does!

    July 23, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. Uncle Sam

    "No, it was not wrong"

    ~E. Spitzer

    July 23, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. Hopeless Fool

    Just go away! Time for some ethics instead of the usual.

    July 23, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. McRCN

    You would think NY and Democrats could do better than Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Fish

    The Weinerdog may be jeopardizing his wife, party and future just because he can't spill it all and end this stuff. Since his wife is connected to Hillary he could be placing her Presidency at risk also. Too many risks for the dems to carry into 2016, they must dump him now before it's too late!!!

    July 23, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. David

    Mr. Weiner need to take his schlong pics and just go away and leave the rest of us alone.

    July 23, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. Peter Clarke

    First his wife should loose this guy, this fellow is a pig and everyone in New York City knows it. My question is what did he promise to the wealthy to support this moron. I'm from NYC and I will never vote for him. I need someone in office who has some judgement and this isn' him.

    July 23, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. BO

    Is NY going to ban 32 oz Weiners? This man is SICK SICK.

    July 23, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    This is a completely arrogant idiot. I can hardly believe he's attempting to get the Mayor of the City of NY job. His behavior should not be accepted as "the norm". He acts like we should just sweep it under the table. Really, what has he done that's good in his job as Congressman? Does he act with the peoples best interest who voted him in? It would be atrocious if he were to win the mayor seat. I am a native NYer and I would be so embarrassed by his behavior if I still lived there.

    July 23, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. BO

    Oly in NY

    July 23, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. Phil in KC

    The Dems in NY seem intent on giving away what should be a safe seat. This guy should never be anywhere near public office again – him or Spitzer. Neither seems capable of keeping it in their pants and keeping their hands to themselves. Yet, here they are. Surely, there must be some better qualified candidates willing to step up in NY.

    July 23, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. Zenith

    The Weiner Rises again!!

    July 23, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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