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. no nothing

    way to go winner

    July 23, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. no nothing

    way to go winner way to go

    July 23, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. kpa

    His wife says: I forgive him, he's a Wiener.

    July 23, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. LDUB

    There are Weiners and losers......and this guy ain't nothing but a hot dog!

    July 23, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. Cindy

    Who would vote him? I can't understand why he even thinks he is a good candidate. Political candidates must take the high road to show they are credible, his mistakes make him not credible. Resign go find a new career. Good Luck.

    July 23, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. no nothing

    winer can't say it without laughing

    July 23, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. ned

    i can't understand why she's sticking by him...after the first time okay but now?

    July 23, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. K

    this woman is BRAIN-DEAD for staying with him. how pathetic.

    July 23, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. Ed Parrish

    Question for Mr. Weiner – Do you think your actions reflect a mental problem ?

    July 23, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  10. P Winslow

    A pervert with a wife that has low self-esteem,

    July 23, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. Name

    That ain't good folks

    July 23, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Jason

    How shameful this is. They have the courage to do this? People are shameless these days.

    July 23, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. lshea711

    This " Weiner " isn't even kosher, he's a porker and his wife is influenced by " Hillary because forgave Bill " in the public eye and he has to help her one more time, to run for President. Birds of a feather flock together, all they want is power and still do anything they want, They'll say anything, to get back on top.

    July 23, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Louis

    Weiner's wife is just as dysfunctional as him.

    July 23, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. Patrick

    I wonder what Mark Sanford thinks of this. Or David Vitter.

    July 23, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. abmri60

    He either is:

    1 Extremely insecure
    2 Extremely vain about his body
    3 Extremely interested in women
    4 all of the above

    July 23, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. anotherdayincalifornia

    Wait a minute. He resigned from congress and continued to do it? Is this guy stupid or does he think we are?

    July 23, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. Ruth Jenkins

    If you look at her face, you can see how much stress this man has put on her. She is a successful, beautiful woman and she really should run from this man. I really hope he doesn't get a chance at politics again.

    July 23, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. liberal disease

    the democratic party is a freak show and they have the nerve to talk about Repubs?

    July 23, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Name dave

    OMG!!!!!!!! Why does this idiot believe he is capable of being Mayor of New York. He is the epitome of politicians who give public service a bad rap. He must be delusional to think he deserves the public trust. While his wife is being courageous in taking such a difficult stance, she deserves better than this dirt bag.

    July 23, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. triumph1

    His behavior will not change as long as Huma forgives him. His career will likely crash and burn in a very spectacular way someday.

    July 23, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. maryllinda

    Why would anyone vote for someone like him. He obviously isn't spending his time working for the people. So much energy and time wasted and using our tax dollars to boot. I could care less what he does on his free time but if he spends this much energy on crap like that why would I want to hire him?? much less elect him.

    July 23, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. dennis

    Carlos Danger for Mayor.
    Are the T-shirts on the street yet?

    July 23, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  24. liberal disease

    the only good weiner is an oscar meyer weiner!! O.S.C.A.R

    July 23, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Rembrant

    Democrat, Republican, President, Senator, Governor, Major, janitor, whatever: My interests lie with whether the person does a good job for the people he represents. Infidelity is strictly between him and his wife and I don't give a hoot about infidelity as long as it happens on his own time.
    I am confident that most of the trolls on these forums know very little about fidelity.

    July 23, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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