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. BD70

    Must be heck solving the rest of your marital problems in public view. Either that or very cleansing.

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

    Is that really the best that New York can come up with? If so, I would be packing my bags!

    July 23, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. The Perfesser

    New York already has a putz for a mayor, why not a wiener?

    July 23, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. Gabbo

    How very liberal of Huma ! Weiner, too !

    July 23, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. john

    What a Wiener

    July 23, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. paul

    Weiner's weiner is @ it again ...OH BOY!!!!!!

    July 23, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. adventurousnomad

    I felt sorry for his wife the first time this happened. But now it is clear that his activities with other women are still happening, she knows about it, and she is still sticking by him. I no longer feel sorry for her. She obviously is willing to tolerate his behavior...by repeatedly not making him pay any consequences, she is sending the message that his behavior is OK with her. Perhaps she just wants to be married to a powerful politician. From this point on, she deserves whatever she gets with him. Somebody should tell Huma: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    July 23, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. ShamefulWeiner

    What a drama company running for NY mayor.. surely get a place in Broadway shows :)

    July 23, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. RSVP

    I hope she bails on him and fast.

    July 23, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. well

    Ladies Love a Weiner!

    July 23, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. AgrippaMT

    This goon is an incredible loser. We'll all be amazed if the voters of New York actually elect him.

    July 23, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. one11one

    It seems the Weiner is cooked.

    July 23, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. Susan

    Used to, when a man exposed himself like that, he got put in jail. Now he just runs for Mayor.

    July 23, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. kamarasune

    It does not matter if he came clean or not because his action show he doesn't have the judgement or will power to keep himself out of situations that may get him blackmailed and that's the last thing any American city needs is another compromised politician.

    July 23, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. Toon

    If this is Breaking News I pity you.

    July 23, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. The_Swimming_Thoughts_of_Weiner

    It takes some serious balls to pull out of Congress and reenter politics as a candidate for NYC mayor knowing these internet exchanges could rise at any moment. Only Weiner would stand up to this challenge, albeit a little soft this time around.

    July 23, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Mary

    That was weird.. The wife looked like she did not want to be there. She looked like she didn't like him much..
    But thats just my impression..
    I used to think Weiner was a great politician .Politically I thought he was on the right track.

    This is new.. Used to be these guys had their affairs and it wasn't reported on.NO one knew.. It wasn't until years after they passed on that this kind of thing came out..
    Now does it hurt his desire to work for the people ? Do the right thing for the country? Is this just a personal problem and like politicians of the past , can he do the job he was elected to do and still be this kind of husband?
    I think so..
    Because ambitious men with inflated ego's who are career minded. Can be the worst kind of family man.. And still have strong convictions for the purpose they have in life..
    So is his desire to work for the people but personally he is lousy husband ?
    Maybe.. Lots of men are lousy husbands, but strong in their convictions elsewhere..

    July 23, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. This guy has serious issues

    Its not so much the lurid behavior. Its the really stupid decisions he made. Then he lied about it.

    July 23, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. DDT

    Wis wife is so disgusting in her endless forgiving, I am sorry to say this, but she deserves his treatment of their family.

    She does this for her son? She should have helped him long ago to undergo therapy! Or at least not stand by him in his running for mayor.

    July 23, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  20. Dave

    Do not support this person in any political arena. He cannot be trusted. His wife is by his side because of the paycheck. This is the last kind of person we need representing our party.

    July 23, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  21. ronjayaz

    What an ugly demo-crazy country when he cant even get clean candidates-Speitzer and Weiner, U must be kidding America!

    July 23, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. Mobius Strip

    "Who cares what he or anyone else does in private?"

    Anthony Weiner is in a race to become mayor of the largest city in the nation. Anyone asking the above question has no idea what blackmail is, let alone its implications.

    July 23, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. Joshua Wertheim

    Weiner had his wife by his side why he made these admissions, but the person both of them should have had accompanying them were his psychiatrist and their marriage counselor. Only an incredibly messed up and abused spouse would support his constant internet infidelity.

    July 23, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. LDUB

    I just read some of the responses.....amazing! lol.....that is all I can say about some of the stupidity people.

    Think about what you are saying. It really isn't about him doing it. Yes, people do stupid things..... some get caught, some don't. What this is really about is the lack of judgment and in ability to make good decisions. Is this really the kind of person you want as the Mayor of New York City? With a budget that size? If that is any indication of his abilities to make sound decisions (and it is the best evidence we have to go on) I don't see how anyone with any common sense can even for a second consider voting for this man. Like I said.....amazing!

    July 23, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  25. Nothing At All

    Great, his wife forgives him, but is the best New York has to offer?

    July 23, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
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