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. Equal share for everyone!

    The hilarious thing is the clowns in NYC will elect him!

    July 23, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Ben

    No really, THIS time I really am putting it behind me. I'm not sleazeball anymore. Really.

    July 23, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. fredb

    Will he be holding campaign events at Nathan's ?
    Once a perv always a perv

    July 23, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. mowey

    Why would anyone believe anything this guy has to say. He's got some sort of problem that should exclude him from running for public office. A female would never get away with this.

    July 23, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. David B

    Who cares. The public will either accept him for who he is with regards to his personal life, or simply reject him. After awhile these leaks will get very old. Now on to more important news....

    July 23, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. James R Hoffa

    Huma needs to get a very small leash to lead you around with I'm afraid.

    July 23, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. mark

    Not being a fan of NYC, I think those folks deserve this guy!

    July 23, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Monica Blewinsky

    You've got to be kidding – and CNN even gives this guy airtime? And what about his wife – this sad sack continues to be around this person.

    July 23, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. CCA

    This dude is so stupid. He has a great looking wife.

    July 23, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. 1twinsfan

    This confirms it – Weiner is running just to pick up women. Huma deserves better.

    July 23, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Fish

    This is probably the end of the Weinerdog, a continual distraction like this will scare many to fear how he can work for them while the media eruptions keep him off-balance. Perhaps he should find a different job. Just like Gary Hart sometimes you can't overcome facts.

    July 23, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. rd

    If New Yorkers re-elect this tool, it would be an embarrassment to the city.

    July 23, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Me

    That was a short lived comeback.

    July 23, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Roy

    What's the big deal, democrats and immorality are one and the same.

    July 23, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. elle

    I'm sorry people, but if these "exchanges" took place a year AFTER he resigned in disgrace then he has not changed and "made things up to" his wife. Jesus, don't people learn?

    July 23, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. seneman

    Does he have a wife

    July 23, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. Brendan Morris

    Weenie is simply another self-serving, political phony - we have enough of those.

    July 23, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Al

    New York would be blessed to get this lowest of life fellow. Maybe he can bring them to the finish line like Detroit!!! Go Dems!!!!

    July 23, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Ron Mexico

    How can he use such an awful fake name? That's just redonkulous....

    July 23, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. hender1123

    This is going to be a minor side show in comparison to what's going on in San Diego with Filthy Filner.

    July 23, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Walter

    And yet the laughable libs will keep right on voting for him.

    July 23, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Glauber

    So the hussy on the other end of these messages wants to cry from the hilltops that Weiner "hasn't changed," as if that were really a concern of hers. I seriously doubt this woman has suddenly gained a righteous desire to see Weiner toe the straight and narrow with his family. His infidelity, be it physical or emotional, apparently wasn't much of a concern to her as long as she thought she had some professional perks to gain from it, as well as a condo in Chicago. And now she's carrying on trying to take some kind of moral higher ground. Uh-huh. Right.

    July 23, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. joebuilder

    What a Weiner, when will it end with this guy?

    July 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Steve

    Yet again Dem's hypocrisy and double standard showing. It's scary to think Dem's are the majority in the country but also not surprising they elect leaders with no morals...birds of a feather.

    July 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Justin

    If this clown gets elected as mayor, I'll lose all respect for New Yorkers.

    July 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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