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. fred flinstone

    Wow, she's beautiful. I'd take her in a heart beat. What a looker!!!!! I love you Mrs. Weiner!!!

    July 23, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. disqus_m4RzRjSnrs

    Hey, New York. Vote for him!~ Lucky people! pppffftttt

    July 23, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. G_Edwards

    Isn't his 30 minutes of fame over? Can the the Dems be so gullible as to vote for this guy for anything?

    .

    July 23, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Reaganlives4ever

    This is the face of the democrat party. So he said there will be more...so is he carrying on with women right now? And there will be more that he carries on with in the future? This is a guy the democrat party loves and champions. His wife stands there and says "yes he lied to me again....but I love him"....
    Who is the fool now? The guy who does it or the people that enable him to continue doing this.
    He has a problem....just wait until he is mayor.
    DEMOCRAT PARTY LEADER – ANTHONY WEINER AND HIS HOOTCHIES

    July 23, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Timo

    The blood in this guys veins is still going to the wrong head!

    July 23, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Robert Miller

    I bet that's just a wonderful marriage.

    July 23, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Mike

    He still has the most important things that will get him elected in NY (the city where grace and integrity are characteristics men despise and women have learned to lose):

    Powerful friends, a "D" behind his name, and money.

    July 23, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. baffledbyyourignorance

    His wife looks pretty hot. Why can't she find a real man who doesn't treat her like a doorknob?

    July 23, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Reaganlives4ever

    I almost give Bill Clinton a pass...its gotta be tough being married to Hillary. But Huma seems nice...what's his issue? They have a baby. You cannot tell me he does not have serious mental issues.

    July 23, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. Sue

    His wife must think nothing of herself.

    July 23, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. caonabo35

    On voting day Anthony will be a winner!

    July 23, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. luigim

    Wow. Listening to him this evening was a great way to aid his "Campaign". Let's face it...all that prime time was FREE.
    Cute trick.
    I am a former New Yorker. I would not vote for this schmuck in a million years. He is just too perverse.

    July 23, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I will vote for him if he legally changes his name to Carlos Danger.

    July 23, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. Hozo1

    Should have stayed in congress with all the other predators

    July 23, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Katie

    If the guy didn't learn his lesson after the initial scandal broke and he was forced to resign from office, why in the world should he be given another public office? His "mea culpa" approach doesn't work when he continued the behavior after he publicly apologized and resigned. It really emphasizes that he either has a serious problem or is incredibly narcissistic.

    July 23, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  16. Larry

    I really feel sorry for his wife. She seems to be very beautiful and is really trying to stand by her "man"...if you can call him that. Maybe I am delusional, but it seems like she is hurt or sad, but not angry....Mrs. Weiner, you can do much better.

    July 23, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. alfonds

    Women like her should be more like Jenny (ex-first lady from So Carolina). Jenny had more dignity and guts than money. This lady has no dignity–Obviously she can not make a living on her own. No dignity no gut and no money–What does she do??? She forgives. And that's ok but is she forgiving because of his money??? Wow!!

    July 23, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. sancheuz

    If his own family can't trust him, then how can we trust him to run a city?

    July 23, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. ken

    Most of the time the woman's lack of intimacy leads to the man going astray. Females need to look in the mirror and accept at least some of the blame.

    July 23, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  20. a dude

    Weiner's wife obviously has NO self esteem...

    July 23, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. volvo544

    I disagree with Dana Bash. Huma did not look at all comfortable. The smile was forced and she had difficulty looking at the press. I feel very sorry for her that he has put her through this once again.

    July 23, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. sieben13

    I love it, they continue to play the America public , when will we learn .

    July 23, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Siesta_Bear

    NYC will elect this troll because they are too self-absorbed and filled with vanity taking photos of themsleves in the mirror to post on Facebook or their food to post on Instagram in order to see how gross Weiner is.

    July 23, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. carol green

    Whether his wife forgave him or not, his political career is over! The "pros" don't care what you look like just as long as they get what they want. I must say they all must have been desperate as he is nothing to look at; however, money talks.

    July 23, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. Muddy

    Once guilty always guilty

    July 23, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
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